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Iran warns of $200 oil if US pursues sanctions

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Global oil prices could hit $200 per barrel if the United States pursues sanctions against Iran for its nuclear development program, an Iranian official told Venezuelan state TV on Thursday.

Iran's Foreign Relations Vice Minister Manuchehr Mohammadi said, "The first consequence of these sanctions would be an increase in the price of oil to around $200 per barrel."

The statement comes after the United Nations on Monday demanded that Iran suspend all nuclear development within a month or face the threat of sanctions.

Iran responded that it had a sovereign right to nuclear development.

Tension over Iran's nuclear ambitions, which has rattled oil markets in recent weeks, has been overshadowed by the bloody conflict in Lebanon.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has backed Iran's nuclear program and developed close ties to the Iranian government.