Oil Prices Climb To Three-year High Amid Concerns Over Renewed Iran Sanctions
Oil prices rose above $75 per barrel in Tuesday trading, the highest level in nearly three and a half years, as fears mount over the prospect the United States will-re-impose sanctions on Iran. Brent crude jumped for the sixth straight day, reaching $75.47 before later falling back slightly. Oil prices have been rising since the 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as other nations such as Russia, decided to restrict output until the end of 2018. Any new American sanctions on Tehran, the third-largest producer in OPEC, would likely lead to a further reduction in global supplies, which, in turn, could cause the price of oil to rise steeply (although the U.S. might be inclined to increase output to stabilize the market). Notably, in the twelve-month period after the Iran nuclear deal was forged in 2015, the price of Brent crude declined by nearly 100 percent, from about $80 per barrel to just over $40. In mid-2017, the commodity was trading at around $50. President Trump has until May 12 to decide whether or not to re-institute sanctions on the Islamic Republic.