Iran oil minister: Gasoline rationing a necessary evil

Financial Tribune – Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says so long as gasoline is not rationed, vehicle owners will not take fuel cards as seriously as expected.

The minister says the initiative to resume use of the smart fuel cards without restarting the 2007 gasoline rationing system would be like beating the air, local news outlets reported at the weekend.

In his opinion “not only can fuel rationing system help reduce consumption, it also will help combat fuel smuggling” in regions bordering Afghanistan and Iraq.

The discrepancy in prices in Iran (7 cents/liter) and most neighboring countries (75 cents) has made fuel smuggling a highly profitable and tempting trade in and near the porous borders.

Gasoline rationing started in 2007. At that time motorists could buy 60 liters of subsidized fuel each month with a special card at 7,000 rials (70 cents) per liter (at the time a dollar was worth 10,000 rials).