SINGAPORE, Feb 6 (AFP): Oil prices jumped more than a dollar in Asian trade today on fears of supply disruptions after the International Atomic Energy Agency's weekend vote to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, a dealer said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, was up 1.03 dollars at 66.40 dollars per barrel, compared with 65.37 dollars in the United States Friday.
"I think it's mostly the uncertainty regarding the situation in Iran and the very clear decision of the IAEA to refer the country to the UN Security Council," said Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior investment strategist with CFC Seymour in Hong Kong.
Iran is the second-biggest producer within the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, exporting 2.7 million barrels of oil per day.
On Saturday the 35-nation IAEA voted to refer Tehran to the UN Security Council over its disputed nuclear programme.
Iran, which says it only wants to enrich uranium to make reactor fuel, triggered the latest crisis by resuming uranium conversion activities last August and enrichment research on January 10.
Enrichment can be used to make nuclear reactor fuel or atom bomb material.
Kowalczyk said the market is buying oil on concerns that referral to the UN Security Council could lead to sanctions or an oil embargo that would disrupt supply.
"The reason they are so afraid of supply disruptions is there is very little spare capacity," he said.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed the IAEA resolution.
"We don't need you. It is you who need the Iranian people. This is the funniest decision I've seen," Iranian news agencies quoted the hardline president as saying.
Kowalczyk said the Iranian situation will be supportive for oil prices in the medium-term but there will be day-to-day volatility, "depending on who says what."