Oil prices will jump to $200 a barrel if the US invades Iran, which would cut off supply, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said.
"If the US happens to invade Iran, oil will not just reach $100, but $200 per barrel," Chavez said. "Not one drop of oil will leave Iran" in an invasion.
"The same would happen here," as the people of the country will halt exports, he said.
Hugo Chavez, who met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad twice this year, said November 11 that he was going to make another visit to Iran in the next several days.
Oil prices of $80 to $100 a barrel are "fair" and Venezuela will seek to keep prices in that range, Chavez said.
"We seek stabilization at $100 a barrel for several years," Chavez said at a press conference on Wednesday in Caracas. He said prices over the past 30 years were "very low" and that $100 oil today was, after inflation, similar to the $30 oil experienced in 1973 and 1974.
Chavez has increased the price he calls "fair" as oil climbed. In June, Chavez said the floor should be $60 a barrel; a year earlier he said $50 and, in 2005, $40. In 2002, he said prices of $22 to $28 a barrel were "right." In December 2000, Chavez said, "We don't want oil to increase to $40 or $50."
Venezuelan President is certain that today’s prices are not destabilizing to the world economy. He believes that the price growth is partially caused with the irrational increase of energy demands in developed countries, which gives a reason to think about excessive consumption.
He said he was preparing for a summit with heads of state from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Riyadh. Several leaders of the oil cartel have said they don't plan to discuss increased oil output at this meeting, Bloomberg reports.
Chavez said he would use the summit to push for increased giving to poor countries.
"We're going to propose formulas of protection for the poorest nations of the world," he said. "We could, if the prices consolidate at about $100, open an international humanitarian fund in seven years and direct $100 billion a year to the struggle against misery in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean."
Prepared by Dmitry Sudakov