Iran embargo gathers support in Asia, Europe

U.S. allies in Asia and Europe voiced support on Thursday for Washington’s drive to cut Iran’s oil exports, though fear of self-inflicted economic pain is curbing enthusiasm for an embargo that a defiant Iran says will not halt its nuclear program.
As a newspaper close to the clerical establishment called for retaliatory assassinations of Israeli officials after the latest mystery killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist, a former U.N. inspector said a new, almost bomb-proof plant could provide Iran enough enriched uranium for an atom bomb in just a year.
Such timetables, while Iran denies all Western charges that it even wants nuclear weapons, have added to speculation that Israel and the United States could resort to a military adventure against the Islamic Republic – something an aide to Russian leader Vladimir Putin said was growing more likely.
Threats of disruption to the Gulf oil trade, from war or simply blockades, have kept crude prices firm. Benchmark Brent crude was up 1.5 percent at nearly $114 per barrel.