(Newsroom America) -- Iran's oil miniter said Sunday that crude should be at least $150 a barrel, as the country's OPEC governor added that prices were not yet high enough to threaten the global economy.
Benchmark crude prices rose to nearly $118 a barrel Friday, renewing fears that surging energy prices would begin to erode fragile economic growth, Reuters reported.
A few days earlier, Saudi Oil Minister Ali a;-Naimi voiced concern over high pricers and said the kingdom would be taking steps to keep prices down.
Iranian officials, however, say there is no danger that current prices will harm economic growth.
Rostam Qasemi, Iran's oil minister, said prices should be around $150 a barrel, according to the Iranian Student's News Agency, or ISNA.
"During the winter, oil prices always climb," he said, according to the report. "So it's natural that this year as well we will have a rise in oil prices in the winter."
Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran's representative on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Country's board of governors, said even consumers see prices of $100 a barrel as fair.
And he said prices "a few dollars" above current levels would not harm Western economies.
"Current oil prices represent nominal prices of the commodity," he was quoted as saying by Shana.
"Considering the inflation rate and other economic issues, it could be argued that real oil prices are between $70 to $80 or $10 to $15, respectively, when we consider the year 2000 or 1970s as the reference," he said.
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