Bloomberg News

Iranian Minister Predicts Oil Price Rise

May 19, 2012

Iranian Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini said international oil prices will rise under sanctions designed to persuade the Persian Gulf nation to abandon its nuclear program.

Oil prices might go as high as $160 per barrel if the European Union goes ahead with a July 1 embargo, Hosseini told CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” in an interview scheduled to air tomorrow. Group of Eight nations gathered a summit at the U.S. presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, discussed containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“We must pay close attention when we speak of oil revenues and sanctions against oil sales, who are the winners and the losers of such sanctions?” Hosseini said. “Indeed, it is difficult. But not just for Iran. And we can all rest assured that there will be a considerable increase in international oil market prices. Now, is this the best approach?”

Hosseini said his country has endured sanctions for 33 years and “this really shows that the economy, the economic strength of Iran is in such a way that can withstand these sanctions and will not be the only economy to suffer.”

Leaders from the G-8 nations said they “stand ready” to call on the International Energy Agency to take “appropriate action” to guarantee supplies in response to disruptions.

The G-8 includes the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Russia. The EU also has two seats.

Israel has said it may attack Iran to prevent Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and within its rights as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Concern over a possible military conflict in the Persian Gulf, the region that holds the world’s largest oil reserves, helped push crude prices as high as almost $110 a barrel in February. Oil has plunged 12 percent this month to about $92.50 on expectations the world economy is slowing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Armour in Washington at sarmour@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net


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