Iran expressed concern about the dropping price of crude oil after it hit roughly $101 per barrel last Friday, according to Iran’s PressTV. The report said that the Iranian oil minister Rostam Qasemi was expected to request an emergency meeting for the OPEC oil group if prices fell much further. Qasemi was quoted by PressTV as saying on Sunday that any price less than $100 per barrel was “not reasonable for anyone.”
Crude oil is eventually refined into gasoline, meaning that prices per barrel for crude ultimately affect the price at the pump. The US Energy Information Administration said that average gasoline prices in the US had dropped to roughly $3.54 per gallon on Monday. While the US does not buy oil from Iran, it does purchase oil from several other countries in the OPEC Basket Price list.
The OPEC Basket Price, which measures the price of crude oil and includes crude from Iran, is at its lowest price per barrel for the year. The OPEC website noted that on Monday the Basket Price reached less than $99 per barrel. It was unclear as of Tuesday morning whether the new price would prompt Iran to call that emergency meeting, or if they would wait to see if it drops further.
Iran relies heavily on oil sales and has been hurt economically by the European oil embargo emplaced on them last year. The embargo is part of a range of sanctions and other measures imposed on Iran over their illegal nuclear program. The US and Europe have enacted their own sanctions on Iran in an effort to convince the Iranians to compromise on their nuclear program, which the West fears is being used to develop nuclear weapons.
The international community and Iran have recently held another round of negotiations aimed at resolving the nuclear dispute.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, April 16, 2013)