John Bolton Ridicules Obama's Reasoning On Iran Deal

Fredrick Soto
May 12, 2018

"We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction", the president said Tuesday.

European oil companies could be particularly hit - French company Total signed a $5bn deal with Iran after the agreement, while BP has a joint venture to operate the Rhum gas field with Iran's state oil company. Some traders, however, are becoming cautious about ever higher oil prices.

Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, were at $77.47 per barrel at 0057 GMT, unchanged from their last close.

China buys the largest share of Iranian oil, and most of the rest is sold to the other top Asian consumers, Japan and South Korea, which have also indicated that they will continue business with Iran despite the USA decision. The benchmark contract was up $1.80 a barrel, or 2.4 percent, at $76.65 by 1240 GMT.

Venezuela's plunging production and the return of USA sanctions on Iran could keep exports lower amid tighter market.

To many of president Trump's critics, including some in both parties and the European leaders who spent the past several months trying to address his concerns, there is no Plan B, it said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed in a phone call on Friday that talks were needed to discuss how U.S sanctions on Iran would affect foreign companies operating in the country. In an update on its sanctions actions on Iran, the U.S. Treasury Department said countries that want extraordinary considerations should cut back on oil purchases from Iran over the next six months.

There is a risk of crude oil prices hitting $100 per barrel next year due to tightening of supply and demand balance in global oil market, investment banking giant Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a report Thursday.

Analysts' estimates of the possible reduction in Iranian crude supplies as a result of any new US sanctions range from as little as 200,000 bpd to as much as 1 million bpd, with most impact from 2019 as sanctions take time to be imposed.

However, they bounced back strongly in Asia and there is talk it could continue rising to $80 a barrel, with gains helped by uncertainty in oil-rich Venezuela, the OPEC-Russia output cap, improving global demand and data pointing to a drop in USA stockpiles. Israel said it conducted the biggest raid in at least three decades at Iran's military facilities inside Syria.

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