Fluctuations of oil prices over Iran’s nuclear sanctions

Iran’s  finance minister says oil prices will increase if European Union goes through with a total embargo on Iranian crude in July.  IMF has warned oil prices could rise as much as 30 percent if Iran halts exports.

According to The CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, Iran’s economy minister said oil prices will “certainly” rise if the European Union moves ahead with an embargo in July and those sanctions will backfire on those who impose them.

The European Union is preparing for a total embargo on the purchase of Iranian crude oil in July. The United States has also imposed sanctions targeting Iran’s energy and banking sectors.

Iran’s economy minister, Shamseddin Hosseini, was asked in an interview conducted Thursday and aired Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” whether oil prices would rise substantially if the European Union moved forward with the oil embargo.

Also, CNN reported, Iran’s finance minister believes oil prices could rise as high as $160 a barrel thanks to sanctions over its nuclear program, a prediction that comes just as the chief of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency headed to Tehran on Sunday for high-level talks.

“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?” Shamseddin Hosseini told CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” in an interview that airs Sunday.

Besides, Fox News noted that  oil prices rose to near $92 a barrel Monday in Asia ahead of talks this week aimed at avoiding a military conflict over Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran plans to meet Wednesday in Baghdad with officials from the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany following initial discussions in April. Investors are concerned that a pre-emptive attack by Israel or the U.S. on Iran’s nuclear facilities would likely pinch global crude supplies and send prices higher.

On the other side, Reuters said  China’s crude oil imports from Iran rebounded more than 50 percent in April from March after resolving pricing disputes over term contracts, but shipments fell nearly a quarter from a year ago, with Saudi Arabian supplies helping to plug the gap.

Crude oil imports from Iran fell 23.7 percent in April on the year to 388,034 barrels per day (bpd), Chinese customs data showed on Monday. However, from a month ago, imports were up 53.2 percent after the two countries resolved term contract disputes in late March.