Oil above $70 for first time since 2014

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That made Iran the third-biggest exporter of crude within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Walking away from the deal means the United States will likely re-impose sanctions against Iran after 180 days, unless some other agreement is reached before then.

"I think it's a sign that he's planning on reimposing sanctions, and the only question for oil markets is how soon", said Joe McMonigle, an energy analyst at Hedgeye Research.

Days after the U.S. president walked away from a three-year-old nuclear deal, senior administration officials said monitoring should continue regardless.

Oil prices rose in response to the announced measures.

The re-imposition of sanctions means companies worldwide must stop doing business with the country or run afoul of the U.S. government.

US officials in announcing the renewed sanctions said they expected USA allies in the oil-rich Persian Gulf region to make up Iran's shortfall in production, in a move they said would soften the impact of the sanctions on global oil prices.

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Several refiners in Asia told Reuters they were already seeking alternatives to supplies from Iran.

"These sanctions do impact all the major industries (in Iran)".

Meanwhile, the USA government tried to further pinch Iran's finances by disrupting a currency exchange network allegedly used to transfer millions of dollars to Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Venezuela's oil output has halved since the early 2000s to just 1.5 million bpd, as the country has failed to invest enough to keep its production and refinery facilities maintained. Its state refiners had chalked out plans to nearly double oil imports from Iran this fiscal year, drawn to the virtual free shipping on oil sales offered by Iran, Reuters reported last month.

"It is clear to me that we can not prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement.The Iran deal is defective at its core".

China may have little interest in doing Trump a favor by sidelining Iran, even if Washington threatens penalties for countries that do business with Tehran.

Mnuchin said the sanctions targeted those who had funnelled millions of dollars to the group, funding its "malign activity".

If that fails, the European Union could also use a blocking statute to protect companies conducting business with Iran from United States sanctions, as it did when it lifted its own sanctions on Cuba.

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