Oil prices climb as Iran threatens EU supply cut

Iran threat to stop Europe crude sales boosts benchmark oil price above $98 a barrel

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices are rising as Iran again threatens to cut off supplies to Europe.

Iranian lawmakers are pushing a plan to stop exporting crude to Europe before the European Union begins an oil embargo this summer. The EU and the U.S. are pressuring Iran because of its nuclear program.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.47 to $98.38 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price foreign oil varieties, rose by 71 cents to $116.64 per barrel in London.

U.S. oil prices fell Monday as supplies grew at the important Midwest distribution hub in Cushing, Okla. The possibility of Iran stopping crude sales to Europe, creating tighter supplies, boosted prices around the globe on Tuesday.

Retail gasoline prices were flat at a national average of $3.48 per gallon.

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