Asia Top News and Analysis Iran

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    European refiners have started to sever links with Iran, stopping spot purchases of crude ahead of a European Union meeting later this month that could impose a full oil embargo on Tehran, the FT reports.

  • An international oil tanker passes through the Suez canal in Ismailia, Egypt.

    Japan and South Korea are seeking new suppliers of crude oil to lessen their dependence on Iran, in response to US pressure to stop buying from the country. The Financial Times reports.

  • Chinese trade data lifts currencies down under, and short covering lifts the euro from Monday's lows — it's time for your FX Fix.

  • Iranian navy conducts the "Velayat-90" naval wargames in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran on January 1, 2012. Iran defiantly announced that it had tested a new missile and made an advance in its nuclear programme after the United States unleashed extra sanctions that sent its currency to a record low.

    The tensions over Iran and threats from the West to apply sanctions on Iranian oil will see crude prices facing more of an upside risk in the near future, a commodities analyst told CNBC.

  • This satellite image shows the Strait of Hormuz, between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The Strait of Hormuz runs between Iran and United Arab Emirates.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s five-day tour of Latin American countries comes at a time of rising tensions with the United States and growing international isolation. The US State Department described Iran’s search for friends as “desperate,” while US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to ratchet up the pressure in a visit to China and Japan.

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    Iran has begun uranium enrichment at a new underground site built to withstand possible airstrikes, a leading hard-line newspaper reported Sunday in another show of defiance against Western pressure to rein in Tehran's nuclear program.

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    The Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has not stepped down despite rumors to the contrary, according to comments carried by the semi-official Fars news agency.

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    Under growing pressure from the United States, some of Asia’s largest economies are reluctantly looking for options to reduce the amount of oil they buy from Iran. The New York Times reports.

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    Crosscurrents from Europe, a gaggle of Fed speakers and the start of earnings season in the coming week will provide a critical test for markets in the new year.

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    Oil prices could spiral out of control and potentially herald deeper economic hardship for Europe if the European Union joins the US in banning Iranian oil imports, analysts warned on Friday.

  • What is the Wort-Case Scenario if the Strait of Hormuz is Closed?

    Alejandro Barbajosa, Oil Markets Specialist at Argus Media discusses the ability of major consuming nations to cope if Iran follows through on it's threats to blockade the strait of Hormuz, and says that the worst-case scenario would be a sudden, severe knee-jerk reaction which would, however, be short-lived.

  • Iran Threat Drives Oil Prices Higher

    Threats from Iran to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz continue, and light sweet crude is bumping up against its 10-month high, John Kilduff, Again Capital, and Edward Morse, Citi, discuss.

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    Any European embargo of oil imports from Iran would have a direct effect not just on Iran, but also on the most prominent consumers of Iranian oil and refiners in the Mediterranean, according to a series of recent reports.

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    The two strongest Republican candidates to emerge from the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, both are open to bombing Iran's nuclear weapons program, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

  • This satellite image shows the Strait of Hormuz, between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The Strait of Hormuz runs between Iran and United Arab Emirates.

    The anxious exchange of statements and explicit threats between the U.S. and Iran mark a notable escalation and leave the energy markets struggling to understand the implications.

  • Daniel Yergin

    Pulitzer prize winning author Daniel Yergin, Chairman of IHS CERA, shared an excerpt on Iran from his latest book “The Quest: Energy Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World.” The piece describes how the balance of power in the Gulf region could shift should Iran obtain nuclear weapons.

  • Market Outlook

    The week's top business news and investing advice, including gold stocks and bank bets, with CNBC's Brian Shactman.

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    If Iran shuts the Strait of Hormuz "that would be cataclysmic for the oil price and the economy, particularly if they figure out a way to shut it down for an extended period," says former Shell executive John Hofmeister.

  • Former Shell Oil CEO: Iran Threats Could Be Valid

    For the Iranians to pull off shutting down the Strait of Hormuz would be armageddon-like, says John Hofmeister, former president/CEO Of U.S. Operations, Shell Oil Co. Who adds, the U.S. should be working harder to preserve its own energy.

  • Is there another Middle East powder keg ready to blow? Gen. Barry McCaffrey, U.S. Army, (Ret.) discusses Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for U.S. and European sanctions.