Oil price weakness pressures Iran, Venezuela – CIA

WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Weak global oil prices threaten to destabilize major oil producers Iran and Venezuela, but Russia is better able to manage because of its sovereign investments, CIA Director Michael Hayden said on Thursday.

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“It’s destabilizing, but it could be positive,” Hayden told reporters. He said global prices hovering around $40 per barrel could increase the bite of sanctions aimed at persuading Iran to give up its nuclear program, and could spell “real trouble” for the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has been an irritant to U.S. policy in Latin America. (Reporting by Randall Mikkelsen, editing by Jackie Frank)

Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:50pm GMT

Source: Reuters

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