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  • President Richard Nixon OPEC countries
  • In 1971, President Nixon prompted the embargo when he decided to take the United States off of the gold standard. 
  • President Richard Nixon 
  • As a result, countries could no longer redeem the U.S. dollars in their foreign exchange reserves for gold. 
  • Nixon went against the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement. His move sent the price of gold skyrocketing. But Nixon's action was so sudden and unexpected that it also sent the value of the dollar down. 
  • The plummeting value of the dollar hurt OPEC countries. Their oil contracts were priced in U.S. dollars. 
  • OPEC even considered pricing oil in gold, instead of dollars, to keep revenue from disappearing. 
  • On October 19, 1973, the 12 OPEC members agreed to the embargo.
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