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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Crude prices hit their highest levels in well over three years Wednesday morning after President Trump's decision to bail on the Iran nuclear deal and to reimpose energy sanctions after a 180-day wind down.

By the numbers: WTI crossed $71 per barrel for the first time since late 2014, while Brent crude went above $77. This morning had WTI trading at $71.04 and Brent at $77.13.

The intrigue: The market moves come just a day after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he did not expect price hikes.

  • Per Reuters and other outlets, he also told reporters there have already been conversations with "different parties" willing to increase supply.

The Saudi response: In a widely circulated statement yesterday, Saudi Arabia said it would "work with major producers within and outside OPEC as well as major consumers to mitigate the impact of any potential supply shortage."

  • The kingdom welcomed Trump's decision to abandon the nuclear accord with its regional rival.

Quick take: U.S. and Saudi interests are only aligned up to a point. Higher crude and hence gasoline prices could hit Republicans politically.

But the Saudis, for domestic financial reasons, probably want higher prices — Bloomberg reported last month that they're targeting $80. The goal could be even more.

  • Go deeper: This Bloomberg piece last night looked at how the kingdom could navigate the post-Iran deal landscape.

Known unknowns: One of them is how many Iranian barrels come off the market in the short- and long-term.

  • A Treasury Department document released with the announcement said the U.S. will press buyers of Iranian crude to reduce their purchases even during the wind-down period.
  • S&P Global Platts reports that most analysts they've surveyed see an immediate effect of less than 200,000 barrels per day and less than 500,000 b/d after the 6 months. "But some analysts see the move eventually disrupting as much as 1 million b/d of oil supply."

Go deeper

40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.

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