Iran president defends fuel price hike

TEHRAN June 14(Shana)–Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has come out in support of his administration’s decision to scrap fuel subsidy.

“I don’t favor price hike term because gasoline was [sold] at two rates and we unified it to single rate IRR 10,000 in accordance with a piece of legislation. The reason was clear because we had to act according to the law,” Rouhani said.

He said that Iran should increase its fuel price to reach the Persian Gulf FOB, adding that Ian is still far from that point.

Rouhani said two-rate gasoline had caused “too much corruption”, adding that the single rate price is avoiding corruption in gasoline supply.

The president said some foreign media sought in vain to trigger riots in Iran following the recent hike in fuel prices.

“Due to oil price slump, the country is facing budget deficit. Single-rate gasoline would make up for this shortfall to some extent,” said Rouhani.

Last month, the Iranian government scrapped subsidized gasoline rationing system to unify the petrol and gasoil prices.

Each liter of regular gasoline sells at IRR 10,000 and each liter of premium gasoline at IRR 12,000.

Each dollar is traded for nearly IRR 29,000 officially and for around IRR 33,000 on open market.

Gasoil also sells at IRR 3,000 a liter and kerosene at IRR 1,500 a liter and liquefied gas at IRR 2,300 per kilogram.

Jet fuel price soared to IRR 6,000 a liter while compressed natural gas (CNG) is charged at IRR 4,000 per cubic meter.

By SHANA