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Oil Prices Jump on Threats of Hurricanes, Sanctions Against Iran

Crude oil prices are climbing with news of a potential hurricane along the southern gulf coast of the United States and Iran's ongoing nuclear dispute with western nations.

Oil prices rose more than $1 Friday to $73 a barrel.

Financial analysts say they are closely watching a tropical depression that weather forecasters are tracking as it makes its way to the U.S. gulf coast.

Last year's storms, particularly Hurricane Katrina, damaged off shore oil refineries, disrupting U.S. oil supplies and driving oil prices to record highs.

An August 31 U.N. Security Council deadline for Iran to halt its nuclear activities is also weighing heavily on oil prices. Traders are concerned that Iran may block oil exports if the security council imposes sanctions against it. Iran is the world's fourth largest oil producer.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.