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DUBAI, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Tuesday that current oil prices are appropriate and the recent decline would be brief.
“The decline in crude prices is due to seasonal fluctuations and will not last,” the Iranian oil ministry news service Shana quoted Zanganeh as saying on the sidelines of an international energy forum in Tehran.
Brent crude edged up towards $103 a barrel on Tuesday, although persistent supply pressure and weak economic data in major consumer countries curbed gains.
Brent hit a 14-month low of $101.07 a barrel on Aug. 19 as investor concerns over conflict in Ukraine and Iraq eased and Libyan output rose. The fall has brought prices below the level some in OPEC need for their budget requirements.
He also said: “The current prices in the world markets are appropriate,” adding that events in neighbouring OPEC member Iraq will not “significantly” affect the oil market. Iraq is fighting an Islamist insurgency.
“These events and the presence of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in this country will not significantly affect the international oil market,” Zanganeh said. ISIS is now called Islamic State.
Islamic State fighters have made gains in northern Iraq in recent weeks, seizing towns and oilfields.
Following air strikes in Iraq, the United States is preparing military options to put pressure on Islamic State in Syria. (Reporting by Rania El Gamal; editing by Keiron Henderson)