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Venezuela's Chavez Warns Oil Prices Could Soar if US Attacks Iran or Venezuela


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has warned that oil prices could more than double to $200 a barrel if the United States attacked Iran or Venezuela.

Mr. Chavez made the comment Saturday during an opening speech of an OPEC summit in Riyadh.

Before heading to the summit, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in Bahrain and played down the prospect of a possible war with the United States, saying he did not believe there would be any new war in the region.

The two-day gathering of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is only the third summit since its founding in 1960.

In ministerial talks Friday, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said OPEC should avoid declaring concern about the weakening value of the U.S. dollar, saying the mention of it from OPEC nations could have a further impact.

Iran and Venezuela are pressing to hold talks about the dollar at the summit. Oil is priced in dollars, so the falling value of the currency contributes to the rising price of oil.

The discussion Friday was mistakenly broadcast to journalists via a closed-circuit television system.

Information for this provided by AP and Reuters

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