Global oil prices have surged once again over concerns of supply disruptions, with Brent crude at above USD 123 after Iran’s decision to halt oil sales to some European states.

Brent crude gained 55 cents to USD 123.15 a barrel on Friday, after falling USD 2 in the previous session. The US crude also rose 49 cents to USD 105.60, Reuters reported.

Oil prices dropped on Thursday following a report that Britain and the United States were preparing to release their strategic oil reserves this year.

The report said that Britain had agreed to cooperate with the United States in tapping into its stockpiles in an effort to bring down oil prices, but volumes and exact timelines have yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the oil price hikes, gasoline prices shot up in both the United Kingdom and the United States, fueling anger among consumers.

Iran’s Oil Ministry announced on February 19 that it had cut oil sales to British and French firms. Tehran also announced it may also stop oil exports to more European countries.

The decision by Iran came in response to the EU's oil embargo against the country.

European Union foreign ministers approved sanctions against Iran on January 23, including a ban on Iranian oil imports, a freeze on the assets of the country’s Central Bank within EU states and a ban on selling diamonds, gold, and other precious metals to Tehran.

EU’s anti-Iran sanctions are in a bid to put pressure on Tehran over its nuclear energy program, based on allegations that Iran is seeking to weaponize its nuclear technology.

Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities are closely monitored by the IAEA, which has conducted numerous inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence indicating a military diversion in Tehran's nuclear energy program.

press tv/281

News ID 181606