SINGAPORE, Feb 7 (AFP): Oil prices weakened further in Asian trading today, falling below 65 dollars a barrel as immediate concerns over Iran's controversial nuclear energy program eased, dealers said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, was down 30 cents to 64.81 dollars a barrel from its close of 65.11 dollars in the United States Monday.
Iran's controversial nuclear energy program, which has triggered an angry reaction from the international community, will remain a concern for investors but ample crude supplies have limited the market's rise, dealers said.
Iran is the second-biggest producer within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, exporting 2.7 million barrels of oil per day.
The International Atomic Energy Agency's move Saturday to refer Iran to the UN Security Council over its nuclear ambitions had initially triggered concerns during trading Monday, dealers said.
Those concerns eased, however, as the market does not expect the issue to cause any immediate disruption in Iran's crude supplies.
Tehran contends that its nuclear research is for peaceful purposes but the government is suspected by the United States and Europe of trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Iranian government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said his country still had the upper hand if it came to enduring any eventual sanctions.
"It will hurt the consumers and not the producers. We are in a position of power when it comes to energy," he said.
"Nobody would dare to attack Iran," Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said.