Oil prices climb as uncertainty mounts over fate of Iran sanctions

Oil prices climb as uncertainty mounts over fate of Iran sanctions

25 Jun 2021

Crude oil prices continue to make gains amid rising confidence in the market of a demand recovery and uncertainty over the future of diplomatic negotiations that could lift US sanctions against Iran.

Brent crude rose above US$75 per barrel on Wednesday (23 June) for the first time since October 2018, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was above US$73 per barrel, close to its highest in more than two years.

Prices have been climbing steadily this year as Opec+ continues to control supplies to the market and the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations raises hopes of a demand boost in some parts of the world.

Talks led by the US to renegotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, which would likely see the lifting of economic sanctions that have stifled the country’s oil industry since 2018, were complicated late last week by the election of a new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi.

While the president-elect has signalled securing the deal will be a priority of his new government, it is unclear whether his election will delay the progress of diplomatic discussions, which have been taking place in Vienna since April.

The latest round of those talks has now ended, with no official indication of when they may resume.

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