The price of crude oil breached $70 (Rs 4,700) a barrel, its highest level since November 2014, on Monday because of fears that the United States may decide to impose sanctions on Iran again and exit the 2015 nuclear deal. President Donald Trump will make an announcement on whether the US will remain in the Iran deal around 11.30 pm on Tuesday Indian time.

The nuclear deal was signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations, Germany, the European Union and Iran, lifted decades-old sanctions on Tehran, on the promise that it would tone down its nuclear programme considerably.

If the US exits the agreement, it could affect Iran’s crude oil exports, reduce supply in the global market, and lift prices.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 73 cents to $70 a barrel at 8.10 am IST, Reuters data showed. Brent crude futures were down 63 cents at $75.54.

Trump’s decision on the nuclear deal comes four days earlier than expected.

In October, Trump refused to certify that Iran had been complying with the agreement, and had threatened to end the agreement. This has led to diplomatic tensions with Iran as well as with US allies keen to preserve the agreement.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged the US president not to walk away from the deal.