Oil prices higher in Asia after Iran nuclear talks stall

2008-07-21 02:47:36 GMT       2008-07-21 10:47:36 (Beijing Time)       SINA.com

Oil prices were higher in Asian trade Monday after weekend talks in Geneva aimed at convincing Iran to halt its nuclear programme made little progress, dealers said.

In early morning trade, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery rose 82 cents to 129.70 dollars a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for September delivery added one cent to 130.20 dollars.

Investors are focused once again on the geopolitical situation in the oil-rich Middle East after efforts to make Iran halt its nuclear programme stalled Saturday during talks in Geneva over the weekend.

"It was a constructive meeting, but still we didn't get the answer to our questions," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said after the talks that aimed to get Tehran to give up its disputed atomic plans in return for incentives.

"There is always progress in these talks, but insufficient," he said, adding that the Iranians were expected to respond to the latest negotiations within two weeks.

He did not overtly address the question of further sanctions, but the US State Department after the talks warned Iran to accept the incentives or face "further isolation."

"We hope the Iranian people understand that their leaders need to make a choice between cooperation, which would bring benefits to all, and confrontation, which can only lead to further isolation," spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement.

(Agencies)

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