June 3, 2008 / 1:36 PM / 12 years ago

Ahmadinejad says market full of oil, prices artificial

ROME (Reuters) - The global market is “full of oil” and rising crude prices are being artificially driven by forces trying to further their geopolitical aims, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday.

“While the growth of consumption is lower than that of production and the market is full of oil, prices continue to rise and this situation is completely manipulated,” Ahmadinejad said in his address to a U.N. food summit in Rome.

Without naming countries, the Iranian leader said “hidden and unhidden hands are at work to control the prices mendaciously to pursue their political and economic aims.”

He said the goal of “powerful and international capitalists” was to keep the price of oil and energy “artificially high” in part to justify new explorations in the North Pole and the deep seas.

In an apparent reference to the United States, he said the international community should have a mechanism to force “the bullying powers to resort to peace and amity instead of occupation and warmongering....”

Reporting by Robin Pomeroy

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