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Oil pares sharp losses after Trump announces US exit from Iran nuclear deal

Gina Heeb
Trump end the iran deal

Susan Walsh/AP

  • Oil rose Tuesday afternoon following President Donald Trump's announcement that he was pulling the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.
  • Scrapping US involvement could put hundreds of thousands of oil barrels at risk.
  • Follow oil prices in real time here. 

Oil pared sharp losses Tuesday afternoon after President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal, in a move that could put hundreds of thousands of crude barrels at risk and ratchet up tensions among Western allies and in the Middle East.

West Texas Intermediate was down 1.22% to $69.87 per barrel at 3:10 p.m. ET. Brent, the international benchmark, shed 0.45% to $75.83. Both had plunged more than 3% earlier in the day, with WTI falling as low as $68.30 around 11:30 a.m ET.

"This is a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made," Trump said at a press conference. 

Trump said the US will reimpose "the highest level" of economic penalties against Iran as it exits the 2015 deal, which previously eased sanctions so long as Tehran curbed its nuclear weapons program. He added that any nations who help Iran "in its quest" for nuclear weapons could be subject to sanctions. 

Iran is the third-largest OPEC producer and makes up about 5% of the global oil supply. Some experts have estimated that reimposing sanctions on Tehran will reduce Iran's output by 350,000 barrels, CNBC reports.

And resulting geopolitical tensions could disrupt the crude supply chain even further. Analysts at Nomura estimate that ensuing conflict could put as much as 26% of the world's oil supply at risk. 

"One reason why financial markets and business sentiment could respond disproportionately relates to market

concerns that a US withdrawal from the JCPOA would signal increased risk overall to the Middle East," they said. 

The move was somewhat anticipated, as the president has been a longtime critic of the agreement, but conflicting reports from sources had pushed prices lower early Tuesday. 

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