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A day before U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, one of his senior officials phoned Saudi Arabia to ask the world's largest oil exporter to help keep prices stable if the decision disrupted supply. Riyadh, Tehran's archrival, has long been a close Washington ally, but direct pressure on a member of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries over oil policies is rare. Washington last pressed Saudi Arabia to increase output in 2012 .Three sources familiar with the matter said a senior U.S. administration official had called Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman before Trump's announcement to make sure Washington could count on Riyadh, the de facto OPEC leader.Washington was worried that the sanctions would curb deliveries from Iran and push oil prices up, the sources said.An OPEC source familiar with Saudi thinking said that Riyadh and Washington had discussed their oil policies before the U.S. announcement on Iran.A third OPEC source said it would be against the OPEC charter to raise output just because Washington had requested it.
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