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  • oil_tanker.jpg

    Despite reports suggesting that Iran is considering a halt to all oil exports to Europe as a response to European Union and US sanctions, the head of energy watchdog the International Energy Agency said that releasing reserves under its control is not something under consideration now.

  • Commodities Tomorrow: Gas Futures Biggest Gainer

    CNBC's Sharon Epperson discusses the day's activity in the commodities markets, including a number of refinery closures that could help drive the price of gasoline higher.

  • 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 authorities have reacted to the decision by the European Union on an embargo by calling for an immediate halt to oil sales to the continent. In a statement on its website, the Iranian Oil Ministry described the European Union’s decision as “hasty” and “a political game”.

  • Showdown with Iran

    Helima Croft, Barclays Capital, discusses the geopolitical implications of the EU's oil embargo on Iranian imports, and the U.S. sanctions on Iran's third largest bank.

  • Commodities Next Week: EU's Iran Embargo & Oil Prices

    CNBC's Sharon Epperson discusses the day's activity in the commodities markets and looks ahead to where oil, natural gas and precious metals are likely headed next week.

  • Natural Gas Outlook: How Low Can it Go?

    CNBC's Sharon Epperson reports on the continuous slide in natural gas prices, now at a 10-year low, and how investors who bet on a bounce are getting burned.

  • Islamic Art

    It's a vast, valuable and diverse category of art , and taking a narrow religious view could hurt you as an investor.

  • Main roads in Riyadh are decorated with national flags and portraits of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia on February 21, 2011 amid preparations to welcome the Saudi royal back as he is expected to return home later this week after convalescing in Morocco from operations in New York, according to a source close to the oil-rich Gulf monarchy. AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

    Inflation in the world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has slowed to a four-year low of 5 percent in 2011, despite a significant ramp-up in government spending in the wake of the Arab Spring.

  • Straight of Hormuz map

    The Iranian Foreign Ministry has confirmed it has received a letter from the United States concerning the Strait of Hormuz, “via three different channels.” Authorities were considering whether to reply, although the contents of the letter were not divulged.

  • oil_new_4.jpg

    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.

  • 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.

  • Euro Impact on Oil

    The fundamentals in the market are most likely to get more bearish because of the situation in Europe, says Michael Lynch, Strategic Energy & Economic Research president, who also adds any headlines coming out of the Middle East will spark concerns from traders.

  • Straight of Hormuz satellite image

    If Iran were to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, Brent crude would surge to between $150 and $200 a barrel, according to an oil analyst with Societe Generale.

  • 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.

  • Iranian Flag

    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.

  • Iranian Flag

    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.

  • Tehran, Iran

    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.

  • Iranian Oil Imports.jpg

    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.

  • Mitt Romney - Iowa Caucuses

    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.