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  1. More sanctions may well come. But they will hurt western economies more than Iran. They will be responded to by Iran tit for tat with ever increasing oil prices. Iran has already announced more maritime maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz. When those and the accompanying propaganda have passed the price of Brent crude may well be at $120/bbl and the U.S. economy on its way into another downturn. When the EU announced its decision to stop imports from Iran the propaganda claimed that the Saudis would make up for any lack of crude oil and somehow hold oil at $100 per barrel that was some wishful thinking. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest crude producer, reduced oil output and exports in December from November when it produced the most in more than 30 years, according to the Joint Organization Data Initiative. Oil prices jumped to nearly 105 dollars a barrel - a nine-month high - in Asia today, after Iran said it halted crude exports to Britain and France in a dispute over its nuclear programme. Benchmark crude was up 1.75 to 104.99 dollars a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the day it rose to 105.21, the highest since May. The contract rose 93 cents to settle at 103.24 a barrel in New York on Friday. Brent crude was up 1.52 at 121.10 dollars a barrel in London. Note that the benchmark WTI price of $105, which is set at the pipeline hub in Cushings Oklahoma, is currently distorted. Cushings is oversupplied and lacks pipelines that could transport the oil from the U.S. midwest to the coasts. The Brent crude price is therefore what sets the consumer price for gasoline in large parts of the U.S. as well as in Europe. Brent at $120 a barrel is global recession territory. The Chinese, who just renewed their long term contract with Iran, will likely get their oil cheaper than that. So we are right there where I predicted sanctions would lead.
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