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Protest erupts in Iran over petrol price hike

16 Nov 2019, 17:18 GMT+10

Tehran [Iran], Nov 16 (ANI): Protests were held in several cities of Iran on early Saturday (local time) after the government announced effective measures to rationalise and increase the price of petrol by three times, a day before.

Without prior warning, the Iranian state television quoting Vice President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, in the early hours of Friday morning, broadcasted a statement by the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company saying petrol will now be rationed across the country using smart fuel cards.

Vehicles for private use are to be restricted to 60 litres (16gal) of fuel monthly, while the price of petrol will jump 50 per cent to 15,000 Iranian rials ($0.13 at open market rates) per litre. Any fuel purchases in excess of allotted rations will incur an additional charge of 30,000 rials ($0.26) per litre, Voice of America News reported.

The move invited severe criticism from local residents who claimed that the move would further burden their wallets at a time of worsening economic conditions.

The International Monetary Fund has predicted the Iranian economy will shrink by 9 per cent this year, as US sanctions choke off oil exports that have been Iran's main revenue source, and endemic corruption hobbles Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's efforts to address the crisis.

The country's economy has worsened under the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign and domestic corruption. (ANI)

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