IMF: Oil price to rise if Iran cuts export to OECD

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns crude prices could rise by 20 to 30 percent this year if Iran halts oil exports to members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In its latest World Economic Outlook report published on Tuesday, the IMF said the eurozone debt crisis and rising oil prices pose the biggest threats to global economic recovery, AFP reported.

The IMF projected that a halt in Iran’s crude exports to the OECD advanced economies could push prices up by about 20 to 30 percent, which could cause a slump similar in magnitude to the one that happened in the 1930s.

Iran has already stopped oil exports to Germany, Greece, France, Spain and the UK. Tehran says it is now considering halting crude sales to Italy.

Iran’s decision to cut crude exports to certain European countries was made after the EU foreign ministers agreed on January 23 to ban oil imports from Iran and freeze the assets of the country’s Central Bank across the EU.

Last month, crude prices reached a peak since May after Tehran’s decision to embark on countersanctions against the European countries, pushing gasoline prices in the US and the UK to record highs.

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