Does Iran want even higher oil prices?
Oil Prices Hit New Intraday Record
"Oil prices hit a fresh record intraday high of $72.49 Thursday after weekly data showed a drop in U.S. gasoline stocks, raising worries that refiners don't have an adequate inventory cushion ahead of the peak summer driving season.
Traders also are anxious that U.S.-led efforts to stop Iran, the second-largest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, from pursuing a suspected nuclear-weapons program could lead to a disruption in Persian Gulf oil supplies.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery surpassed the previous intraday record of $72.40, set Wednesday, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price then slipped back to $72.30 a barrel, up 13 cents from Wednesday's record close of $72.17."
"Concerns about Iran continue to lift oil prices. Diplomats said Wednesday that the U.S. may turn to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency to exert more pressure on Iran out of frustration with Russian and Chinese opposition to firm Security Council action.
On Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that record crude oil prices were still below their "real value," though he stopped short of saying Iran would use its vast resource as a weapon."