Hugo Chavez

The price of a barrel of oil could surge to triple figures if the United States were to attack Iran in order to halt that country’s nuclear program.

That’s the claim of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who said the Iranians would have no choice but to cut off their supply of fuel.

“If the United States attacks Iran … oil could reach $100 a barrel or more,” Chavez told a meeting today hosted by London Mayor Ken Livingstone, according to Reuters. “The English middle classes would have to stop using their cars.”

“If they attack Iran, the Iranians will cut off their supply of oil. We would do the same if we were attacked. We would cut off our oil,” Chavez told some 1,000 leftists and trade unionists. “Moreover, Iran has said it would attack Israel, and I know they have the wherewithal to do so.”

In recent years, the price of oil has gushed to about $70 a barrel, meaning billions of dollars for the economy of Venezuela and fueling Chavez’s self-styled socialist Bolivarian revolution.

“If they attack Iran I think it will be far worse than the situation is in Iraq,” Chavez added, calling Iraq “the Vietnam of the 21st century.”

Chavez got a warm welcome to London by Livingstone, who commenced the meeting by claiming President Bush was running “a gangster regime.”

“We salute you Mr. President,” Livingstone told Chavez. “Londoners stand with you, not with the oil companies and the oligarchs.”

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