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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Oil prices rose sharply Monday to their highest levels since November as the White House confirmed it will end sanctions waivers for countries that still purchase Iranian oil.

Driving the news: The U.S. will seek to further drive down Iranian exports by ending exemptions granted last year to China, India and a handful of others.

"This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue," the White House said Monday.

Why it matters: The move represents an escalation of the Trump administration's policy toward Iran. It's also a jolt to global crude oil markets as traders weigh the loss of more Iranian barrels.

  • Sanctions have already driven down Iranian exports, which were believed to be roughly 1.3 million barrels per day last month.
  • Reuters cites data from the firm Refinitiv that show exports under 1 million barrels per day this month.

Where it stands: Brent crude, the global benchmark, up $1.92 per barrel to nearly $73.89 as of roughly 8:40am ET, per Bloomberg's price tracker.

  • Last night the Washington Post first reported the decision to tighten the sanctions imposed last year. That story and others that followed sent prices upward.

But, but, but: The White House said it will work with other producers to offset the loss of Iranian barrels in the global market.

  • "The United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world’s great energy producers, along with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied," the announcement states.

What they're saying: "If true, it will not only be maximum pressure on Iran but also maximum pressure on oil markets, especially as we head into the high demand summer season,"  Joe McMonigle of Hedgeye Risk Management told me in an email last night.

  • "The glass-half-full view for oil markets is there is certainly spare capacity with the Saudis and other gulf allies in addition to surging US production," he said after word of the plan first surfaced.
  • "But combined with declines global crude stocks and production in Venezuela as well as possible disruption in Libya, a zero-waivers Iran decision will present a challenge to keeping oil prices in check."

"This does bring a lot more uncertainty in terms of global supplies," Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob tells Reuters. "It is a bullish surprise for the market."

Go deeper: How U.S. Ending Iran Waivers Could Affect Oil Markets and Beyond

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
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AT&T is unwinding a huge part of its $84 billion acquisition of Time Warner, less than three years after it closed.

Driving the news: AT&T this morning announced that it will merge its WarnerMedia properties with Discovery Inc.'s media assets.

Supreme Court agrees to hear major Mississippi abortion case

Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

Why it matters: It will be the first abortion case to be argued before the Supreme Court since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed, handing conservatives a 6-3 majority. The case could potentially provide a pathway to challenging Roe v. Wade and allowing outright bans on abortion.

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Blinken says he hasn't seen evidence Hamas was in AP building Israel struck

Smoke rises after sraeli forces destroyed building in Gaza City where Al-Jazeera and Associated Press had their offices. Photo: Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday he had not personally seen evidence that Hamas was operating in a building that housed offices for Al Jazeera, the AP and other media in the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli government has claimed, AP reports.

The latest: "The Secretary was referring only to what he personally had seen. As he made clear, any such information would be provided to others in the administration, not directly to the secretary of State," a senior State Department official told Axios.