Iran says oil would go over $250 if exports banned

Sun Dec 4, 2011 7:52am EST
 
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By Ramin Mostafavi and Robin Pomeroy

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran warned the West on Sunday any move to block its oil exports would more than double crude prices with devastating consequences on a fragile global economy.

"As soon as such an issue is raised seriously the oil price would soar to above $250 a barrel," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a newspaper interview.

The comments come as Iran strives to contain international reaction to the storming of the British embassy last week, a move which drew immediate condemnation from around the world and may galvanize support for tougher action against Tehran.

Washington and EU countries were already discussing measures to restrict oil exports after the United Nations nuclear watchdog issued a report in November with what it said was evidence that Tehran had worked on designing an atom bomb.

Iran says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.

The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to penalize foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's central bank

-- which takes payment for the 2.6 million barrels Iran exports a day. The European Union is considering a ban -- already in place in the United States -- on Iranian oil imports.

So far neither Washington nor Brussels has finalized its move against the oil trade or the central bank amid fears of the possible impact on the global economy of restricting oil flows from the world's fifth biggest exporter.   Continued...