Iran’s desperate efforts to ease the crippling economic pressure of US sanctions have precipitated widespread protests. President Hassan Rohani’s cash-strapped administration on 15 November hiked gasoline prices by 50-200% and introduced rationing. The moves have not been welcomed by Iranians.

State distributor NIOPDC hiked ‘regular’ gasoline by 50% to IR15,000/liter whilst capping volumes available at this rate to 60 liters/month per car owner – purchases that must be made using recently-distributed ‘fuel cards’ (MEES, 16 August). Additional volumes are priced at IR30,000/ liter, three times the previous IR10,000/liter rate. Iranian officials are quick to point out that even this, at $0.25/liter (around $40/barrel), is cheap by international standards. The price of ‘Premium’ gasoline rises by almost 200% to IR35,000/liter (see table). (CONTINUED - 816 WORDS)