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The OPEC+ group doesn’t plan to take any immediate action in the wake of the Iranian call for Islamic countries to impose an oil embargo on Israel over the war with Hamas in Gaza, OPEC+ sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Iran urged Muslim countries – which are all of the OPEC+ producers in the Middle East – to impose an oil embargo on Israel over the latest deadly air strikes on the Gaza Strip.
Iran wants “an immediate and complete embargo on the Zionist regime by Islamic countries, an oil embargo against the regime,” according to a statement from the foreign ministry on Telegram quoted by Bloomberg.
Israel’s army and Hamas blamed each other for the overnight attack on a hospital, which sent oil prices jumping by more than 2% early on Wednesday.
Currently, OPEC+ doesn’t plan any extraordinary meeting or any immediate action, the Reuters source said, after Iran condemned Israel for a missile strike on the hospital in Gaza that killed about 500 people.
OPEC is not a political organization, one of the sources told Reuters.
OPEC and OPEC+ have stayed away from commenting officially on geopolitical matters through the years, including on the U.S. sanctions on OPEC members Iran and Venezuela, and the U.S. and EU sanctions on OPEC+ producer Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
Israel is a small oil importer, but the further escalation of the Hamas-Israel war into the wider Middle East is not being ruled out, and analysts are increasingly concerned about supply from the world’s most important oil-exporting region.
The calls from Iran for an oil embargo on Israel came on the day on which U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in Israel.
“I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I've seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” President Biden said at a briefing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com