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Iran defiant in face of new US gasoline sanctions

As tighter sanctions on Iran's gasoline purchases move through the US Congress, Iranian officials say they have plenty of alternative suppliers, such as China and Venezuela. But some analysts say that prices will rise for Iranian consumers.

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New US sanctions on international companies that sell gasoline to Iran would raise Tehran’s energy bill but won’t devastate the Iranian economy, say financial analysts in the Islamic Republic.

Iranian government officials were defiant Wednesday, saying that the country has many suppliers.

“If any refiners or trading houses for any reason can not supply us gasoline... we will refer to our long list of suppliers and find others – as we have always done – and work with them. There is nothing to stop us from going from one region to another to obtain gasoline,” says Hojatollah Ghanimifard, the National Iranian Oil Company’s deputy director for investment affairs, in a phone interview from Tehran.

“They are trying to impose these sanctions at a time when gasoline consumption in the northern hemisphere is low, so gasoline supply is more than demand. Refineries are not running at full capacity, so there will be many suppliers,” Mr. Ghanimifard adds.

Also Wednesday, the Islamic Republic test-fired a missile with enough range to reach Israel and parts of southern Europe, something analysts said was a calculated Iranian response to the growing sanctions threat.

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