Scorecard needed to gauge oil market worried about Iran

Perils linked to Iran are escalating so rapidly that an observer needs a scorecard to gauge market effects. Last month the European Union imposed immediate sanctions on new contracts for Iranian crude oil and a 6-month phase-in of sanctions on existing deals. The move responded to the Islamic Republic's continued enrichment of uranium. Iran answered by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which passes 17 million b/d oil. Since then, tensions have worsened. As Iran moves nuclear activities below ground, concern rises that Israel, arch focus of Iranian truculence, will strike militarily before targets sink from view. The US and other allies of Israel have called for restraint....

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