TEHRAN, May 4 (UPI) -- Iran can manage any shortages of gas supplies that may result from tightened punitive economic sanctions imposed by Washington, officials said.
A bipartisan effort by 25 U.S. senators last week introduced the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act to supplement existing legislation penalizing trade in the Iranian energy sector.
Calling the oil and gas industry in Iran the "Achilles' heel" of the clerical leaders, the new legislation authorizes harsh penalties on shipping, insurance and financial entities selling gasoline or refined petroleum products to Iran, including a ban on activity in the United States.
Ali Asghar Arshi with the National Iranian Oil Co. told the Petroenergy Information Network that Iran has grown accustomed to operating under the sanctions regime.
"History shows that Iran has (gotten) over much difficult situations, worse than this, and (made) an expanded relation in global markets," he said. "This is not something unsolvable or (that will) destroy the country."
Arshi added that Iran has made "necessary arrangements" for operating under economic sanctions, including confidential terms with its sellers and suppliers.
The bipartisan U.S. effort would add to the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, which U.S. President Barack Obama extended for another year on March 13.
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