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Oil Prices Fall Below $30 On Iran Concerns

Oil prices have slipped below $30 a barrel for the second time this week, amid concerns that Iran could restart exports soon.

Iran could restart exports if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports Tehran has complied with the terms of a July deal with world powers aimed at curbing its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

Reports said the IAEA could publish its report as early as January 15.

Global oversupply has led to a more than 70 percent collapse in oil prices over the last 18 months, dramatically affecting Russia and other energy-dependent nations.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered the government on January 15 to decide which spending could be significantly cut, saying, "The dramatic move in the oil prices which we see over recent weeks creates highly serious risks for budget fulfillment."

Russia’s 2016 budget is based on an oil price of $50 a barrel.

Meanwhile, the Moscow stock exchange dropped by 5 percent as the ruble stood at a level last seen in December 2014.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and the BBC