Skip to comments.Iran riots over petrol rationing
Posted on 06/27/2007 9:06:33 AM PDT by freedom44
Teheran (dpa) - Riots broke out in Iran in the early hours of Wednesday and some petrol stations were set on fire in the capital Teheran following the government's decision to ration petrol.
According to local press reports, at least five petrol stations in Teheran were set on fire in protest against the rationing. Some banks and supermarkets were also reportedly robbed.
Witnesses said the people also shouted slogans against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who is considered as the initiator of the petrol rationing.
The Iranian parliament swiftly reacted to the riots and summoned the oil and interior ministers to investigate the incidents in a secret session.
The oil ministry announced via state-television that necessary grounds would be prepared to prevent any petrol problems for the people. The ministry's promises were, however, based on establishing new oil refineries in the coming years.
As of Wednesday, Iran, one of the world's largest oil producers, started rationing petrol nationwide.
The oil ministry said in a statement that each of the country's around 7 million private cars will get 100 litres per month at 0.108 dollars per litre for normal and 0.151 dollars for super petrol.
The announcement caused huge chaos on Teheran's streets in the late night hours of Tuesday with cars rushing to petrol stations to fill their tanks before the start of the rationing.
Anything above the ration quota was scheduled to be sold at 0.30 to 0.40 dollars per litre or at a floating rate but no final decision has yet been announced in this regard.
The incidents confirmed the government's fears that the move would dent Ahmadinejad's popularity before parliamentary elections in March next year, besides increasing inflation.
Although Iran as a leading OPEC member has a daily oil production of 4.2 million barrels, the Islamic state still spends 5-8 billion dollars annually on petrol imports due to lack of refineries and a preference for oil export.
The first phase of petrol rationing was carried out earlier this month for governmental cars which have a quota of 300 litres per month.
Petrol is only supplied through the so-called "smart card" or petrol coupon, an initiative by Ahmadinejad to stop lavish fuel consumption which currently stands at an estimated 73 million litres daily.
With the initiative Ahmadinejad hopes not only to fill the huge gap in Iran's budget but also to tackle related problems such as traffic jams and pollution in big cities.
Parliament should help the government to end wasteful expenditure, parliament president Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel.
He added that the measures would help reduce the impact of possible sanctions against Iran because of its controversial nuclear programme.
However, an economic expert said the plan was not thoroughly thought through and was badly executed.
He criticized the president for not resolving the overtaxing of the public transport system, particularly in the large cities. In Teheran the underground rail system, the bus network and taxis have to cater for 13 million people.
"Ahmadinejad is so fixated on the nuclear programme that he has forgotten the basic needs of the people," said a driver in Teheran whose car was built in 1973 and which must transport the man, his wife and their three children.
Seems like now would be a perfect time for a series of unfortunate accidents to happen at the 3 Iranian refineries. Hint, Hint.
How long before the Global Warming Alarmists applaud Ahmanutjob for his action to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in Iran ?
Sheryl Crow and Leonardo DiCaprio are probably readying their public fawning now.
Dude, from your lips to the CIAs ears. In fact, we ought to build a few more refineries of our own and for the same reason.
What about the other six?
It would also be a good time to buy up all the refined petrol in Bahrain. Hint, hint.
Heck, if just one were to ACCIDENTALLY blow up, the panic that would set in would be great.
I could watch stock footage of angry Iranians burning their own stuff all day....
With a little luck, the rioters will start blowing up refineries. We’re talking about that kind of intelligence at work.
Annual occurrence on the Houston Ship Channel, I doubt theirs are different.
Please add me to the ping list. Thanks.
I guess we don’t need to worry, these fools will do themselves. Now, all they need is a small push, say a few M-16s, an set back and watch the fun........
Couldn’t happen to a “nicer” guy like Ahmanutjob.
By Ben Quinn
The Telegraph (UK)
Last Updated: 11:30am BST 27/06/2007
Angry Iranians have torched petrol stations in protests against the sudden imposition of fuel rationing in one of the worlds most oil rich nations.
The rationing was announced on Tuesday only three hours before it was due to begin at midnight, leading to long queues at service stations as Iranians rushed out to fill up before the clampdown kicked in.
In the capital, youths set a car and petrol pumps ablaze at a station in the residential Pounak area of northwestern Tehran, throwing stones and shouting angry slogans denouncing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who came to power in an election based largely on his promises to improve the Islamic republics faltering economy.
He has been facing growing criticisms over his economic policies, which a group of economists claimed earlier this month were fuelling inflation and hurting the poor.
The Iranian government had been planning for weeks to implement rationing, which was supposed to begin May 21, but has repeatedly held off from making the move.
In a country where citizens are used to having cheap and plentiful gas the issue is a sensitive one.
Lines of more than a half a mile long snaked out of some stations in Tehran, while riot police were in some streets to disperse the demonstrators.
Iran has to import more than 50 percent of its petrol needs because of its low refining capability, despite being the second biggest exporter in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
To make matters worse, consumers are being forced to use smart cards to keep track of their purchases but problems in distributing the cards have delayed implementation of the plan, while pumping petrol into vehicles is only possible when the smart card is inserted into the pumping machine.
Petrol sales have been subsidised by the government in an attempt to keep prices low.
Under the new rationing system, owners of private cars can buy only 100 litres (26 gallons) per month at the subsidised price of 1,000 Rials per litre (£0.19) while taxi-owners can purchase 800 litres (211 gallons) a month.
Unrest on the streets has also been played out politically in Irans parliament, where conservatives have been pushing for higher petrol prices in the hope of cutting back on demand in order to allow for money to be invested in the oil and gas production sector.
President Ahmadinejad has been resisting allowing increases because of his campaign promises to share Irans oil wealth with lower income groups and has also fought off efforts by parliament to reverse a 2005 decision to suspend a law stating that petrol prices must increase 10 percent every year.
However, he has been repeatedly criticised by the Iranian press for stoking already high inflation with high spending and promising lavish local investment projects on visits to the countrys regions.
The beginning of the end for the mullahs. I believe it was Hannity where I heard some intelligence analyst saying one of the best ways to take them down is for a fuel shortage to occur.
Porno for pyromaniacs.
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