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June 20, 2019

Oil prices spike after Iran shoots down American drone

Oil prices spiked as tensions between the United States and Iran escalated.

The price of US oil soared 6% above $57 a barrel.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it had shot down an a US military drone. Investors feared an armed conflict in the region could escalate, potentially cutting off some oil supply. After the drone was brought down, President Donald Trump tweeted that "Iran made a very big mistake!"

Tensions with Iran have been building since two tankers were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz last week, an attack that US authorities blame on Iran.

The strait, a narrow body of water near the mouth of the Persian Gulf, is crucial to the flow of oil from the Middle East to global oil markets. Oil prices are now up 9% since that attack on fears that global oil markets could be disrupted.

The United States announced plans earlier this week to send an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East amid the rising tensions with Iran. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the United States is "considering a full range of options," including possible military options, although he emphasized that Trump does not want to go to war with Iran.

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