Oil rises again after Trump threatens sanctions against Iraq and retaliation against Iran

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By Florence Tan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices rose more than 2% on Monday, with Brent rising above $ 70 a barrel after President Donald Trump threatened to sanction Iraq given the escalating tensions with Iran in the Middle East impose.

Brent crude futures rose to a high of $ 70.27 a barrel at 0222 GMT. This is an increase of $ 1.67, or 2.4%, compared to Friday's comparison.

West Texas Intermediate's crude oil price rose $ 1.34, or 2.1%, to $ 64.39 a barrel after previously hitting $ 64.44, its highest since April.

Profits prolonged Friday's rise by more than 3% after a U.S. airstrike in Iraq killed Iran's supreme commander Qassem Soleimani on Friday. The murder has raised concerns about an expanding Middle East conflict that could disrupt oil supplies in a region that accounts for almost half of global oil production.

On Sunday, President Trump threatened to sanction Iraq, the second largest producer of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), if U.S. troops were forced to withdraw from the country. Baghdad had previously asked American and other foreign troops to leave Iraq.

Trump also said that if Tehran struck back after the murder, the United States would take revenge against Iran.

The incident "will trigger a long cycle of regional escalations that pose significant risks to US assets and energy infrastructure in the Middle East, but which will stand still before the war," said Eurasia Group analyst Ayham Kamel.

"But the risk of a limited conflict is real. It would involve major Iranian attacks on Gulf energy targets and direct sea fighting between the United States and Iran."

The consulting firm expects the oil price to be between $ 65 and $ 75 a barrel in 2020 as the risks to the oil infrastructure in the region increase.

Meanwhile, Capital Economics analyst Caroline Bain said, "Friday's incident has virtually eliminated the possibility of Iranian sanctions being lifted, which poses a major downside risk to our oil price forecast."

"Regardless of the geopolitical events, we expect limited supply growth and a moderate increase in demand to raise oil prices in 2020," she added.

(Reporting by Florence Tan; editing by Richard Pullin and Kenneth Maxwell)