Protests erupt across Iran after government imposes fuel rationing, price hikes
Several citizens across Iranian cities, including the conservative stronghold of Mashhad, began protesting on Friday after Iranian authorities introduced petrol rationing and price hikes.
Videos being shared on social media showed protesters gathering in squares across the southwestern city of Ahwaz in Iran’s Khuzestan province. One video showed tires being burned to block the roads while another showed a group of protesters shouting anti-regime slogans near a petrol station.
A report by state news agency IRNA early on Friday said every private car will now have a 60-liter monthly quota at about 13 cents per liter, up from nine cents. Taxis and ambulances have a quota of up to 500 liters at 13 cents. Beyond that, the price is 26 cents per liter.
The price hikes and rationing come just days after President Hassan Rouhani said Iran in recent months has been facing its “the most difficult” time in decades.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency in Tehran, several Iranians said they fear the price hikes would now worsen an already falling economy.
“The situation will worsen for the people. You see now that the price of fuel was 1,000 Tomans (10,000 Rials = 0.08 USD) and now it is 3,000 Tomans (30,000 Rials = 0.25 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,” industrial town employee Davood Tayyebi 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 paralyze a class of society, especially the laboring class," Mahboobeh Bakhtiari said.