Iran officials call for oil as weapon

January 5, 2009 5:40:08 AM PST
An Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander is calling on Islamic countries to use oil as a weapon to end the fighting in Gaza. The Iranian suggestion this week echoed a similar call made last week by lawmakers in Bahrain.

The demands are unlikely to lead to an immediate embargo. They don't come from the Persian Gulf nations' top rulers or carry the support of other major producers like Saudi Arabia.

But the calls do highlight the depth of anger in the region over the Israeli offensive and the threat it poses to oil prices that recently fell to their lowest levels in years.

Benchmark light, sweet crude is trading higher at $47.70, up $1.36. Traders say fighting in the Middle East is partly behind the rise.