Photo: Reuters

Rise in petrol prices leads to protests in Iran

Protests erupted across Iran in recent days after the Ayatollah regime decided to hike up petrol prices amid Tehran’s growing economic distress.

According to Iranian State Television, the price of one liter of regular gasoline was increased to 15,000 Iranian Rials, equal to about 32 eurocent, or 1 U.S. dollar and 35 cents per gallon. In addition to the base price increase, each private vehicle usage is limited to 60 liters per month, equal to 15.85 gallons. Any additional gas purchases will cost double the original price. Iranian Industrial Town Employee Davood Tayyebi said “The situation will worsen for the people. You see now that the price of fuel was 1,000 Tomans (10,000 Rials = 0.21 EUR / 0.23 USD) and now it is 3,000 Tomans (30,000 Rials = 0.64 EUR / 0.71 USD). Everything, including food products, will become more expensive. People’s economic situation will only get worse, it can’t get better. It will be good for the government, because the income from fuel will triple.” Iranian Taxi Driver Azadi argued that “Because we are producers and burn fuel ourselves, there is benefit to the state’s income (after price hike). However, the only damage it can do is to the nation itself, to the people who are gas consumers.” Lastly Iranian housewife Mahboobeh Bakhtiari said “In Tehran and the rest of Iran, everything is dependent on fuel (prices). If the price of fuel goes up in the night, by day the price of rent will go up, as well as other living expenses, including fruit, vegetables, cereals, and everything. It affects everything, which is very bad. I really believe that it will paralyses a class of society, especially the laboring class.”

According to Authorities, the price rise aims at raising funds for cash handouts to the Islamic Republic’s poorest citizens, but many Iranians already grappling with rising inflation were quick to protest against the new policy.