Obama, G8 may remind Iran of their own 'oil weapon'

May 18, 2012 23:45

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK - After months of intense but quiet diplomacy with key allies, US President Barack Obama may secure the support of the G8 to essentially pre-authorize a release of strategic reserves later this summer, just as US and European sanctions on Iran come into force.

Late last year, Iran issued a series of not-so veiled threats to the West, suggesting it could use its "oil weapon" to show displeasure over toughening sanctions by halting exports or disrupting the Strait of Hormuz.

This weekend, the Group of Eight nations may offer a timely retort: We've got an oil weapon of our own, and we're not afraid to use it.

G8 leaders at this weekend's summit at Camp David in Maryland will discuss a "range of options" to address oil market strains, Tom Donilon, Obama's top security aide, told reporters. The Japanese news agency Kyodo reported on Wednesday that Obama would urge leaders to support plans to release reserves. A diplomat said the topic will likely be part of an energy discussion on Saturday.

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