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World Oil Prices Soar Above $70 A Barrel

World oil prices rose sharply Monday on concerns about the supply of crude oil in the key U.S. market, and worries that political problems may crimp supplies from Iran and other oil producers.

Prices for London's benchmark Brent crude hit a record $71.40-a-barrel before easing slightly. Prices of U.S. crude for future delivery briefly touched $70 a barrel in Asian trading.

Iran is in a stand-off with the United States and other nations over a nuclear program that Teheran says will be used to produce electricity, but that other nations fear could be used to build nuclear bombs.

Iran is the world's fourth-largest oil producer and investors worry the dispute might lead Tehran to cut exports at a time when there is little spare capacity among other oil producers.

Crude prices also are getting a boost from unrest in Nigeria, where rebel attacks have forced oil companies to cut exports.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.