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.
18th of Tir - begins July 8th
Anniversary of the 1999 student uprising
That’s the one I was thinking about when I made my post, but I couldn’t remember the year & I was off by a day. Do you know if they still celebrate the day with protests?
“Do you know if they still celebrate the day with protests?”
Yes they do, though each year the regime’s threats of punishment for those who do, get worse. BTW it isn’t limited to one day. It is recognized as 5 days
I was wondering if they might be starting the “celebration” early this year, spurred on by yet one more action of the government.
According to the regime......CIA and Mossad burned the gas stations
They are sooooooooo predictable.
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