FNA – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani blasted the US for provoking unrests and riots in Iran, and said that Washington’s efforts are in vain.
“The US will get nothing by encouraging riots and sabotage in Iran,” Larijani said on Monday, addressing the parliament’s open session on the recent unrests in different parts of the country because of gasoline price hike.
The Iranian parliament speaker pointed to the US secretary of state’s message in support of the rioters in Iran, and said, “Such support by Mike Pompeo is shameful.”
Larijani’s remarks came after Pompeo voiced support for rioters who had damaged public properties by creating turmoil in Iran.
The Iranian parliament speaker pointed out that such message clearly shows the US dishonesty.
On November 14, the US secretary of state in interfering remarks addressing the rioters said, “The US hears you. Washington supports you. The United States is with you.”
Larijani, meantime, expressed the parliamentarians’ determination to seriously follow up and solve people’s economic problems.
In reaction to the unrests in the Iranian cities after rise in gasoline price, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei put weight behind the petrol price hike, and said that it aimed to cut consumption of petrol causing degradation of environment.
Meantime, President Hassan Rouhani said that his government would never use the fund collected by the petrol price hike, but it will rather distribute them among 60 million people living in poverty.
Reports on Friday and Saturday said crowds of 50 to 150 people staged gatherings in Mashhad and Sirjan and some cities of Khuzestan province to voice protest against the unexpected 50% rise in gas prices, adding that protesters dispersed after talking with police and other citizens who invited them to preserve peace and calm.
Some small gatherings were formed in some cities of Iran on Friday evening and Saturday in protest at a 50% rise in gas price which was put into practice earlier at midnight.
According to reports, the protests were more in Sirjan in Kerman province, and some cities in Khuzestan province.
In Ahvaz, the provincial capital city of Khuzestan, some gatherings of 100 to 150 were formed in different spots in the city where protesters chanted against the 50% increase in the gas price.
The protests subsided after police and a number of citizens mediated and demanded calm, but traffic congestion caused by the gatherings cleared later.
A similar traffic problem was reported in Mashhad, but the situation is reported calm and peaceful in the early hours of Saturday.
In Sirjan, a city in Southeastern province of Kerman, a similar story happened, but new reports recount that peace and order has been restored.
The majority of reported protests were staged by crowds of 50 to 150 who chanted nothing political but against the sudden rise in the gas price.
Most of the protests could be followed through social networking websites and the internet, while Europe-based anti-Iran media were trying to create a hype with unfounded claims about harsh “crackdown”.
Very late on Thursday, the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) issued a statement to recount details for new prices of fuels in the country, which was followed by another statement in early on Friday by Vice-President and Head of the Management and Planning Organization (MPO) Mohammad Baqer Nobakht who said that the revenues will be allocated to offering subsidies to 60 million people.
According to the new pricing echelon, the subsidized fee of 10,000 rials (almost 8.3 cents) per liter is increased to 15,000 rials (almost 12.5 cents) per liter, a 50% rise, which is offered at a limited rate of 60 liters per month, a rationing that did not exist for the last 6 years, for private cars with a rationing card.
However, the price for non-rationed supply of the gas is still subsidized and below the level of price offered in majority of the neighboring countries. The non-rationed price is set at 30,000 rials (almost 25 cents) per liter and there is no limitation for buying non-rationed fuel.
The statement, further added that the price for the compressed natural gas (CNG) and diesel gas will remain unchanged.
After the announcement of the NIOPDC was issued, MPO Head Nobakht said, in a statement that all the revenues collected from the increase in gas prices will be allocated to increase help packages which are offered to 18,000,000 households of 60,000,000 million people.
The move is hoped to demotivate fuel smugglers who come up with very creative methods to smuggle the fuel out of Iran to neighboring countries.
Late in October, Police Chief of the Southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan Brigadier General Mohammad Qanbari said that the attracting crime of fuel smuggling out of Iran is being seriously fought, adding that his forces have confiscated nearly 7.8 million liters of smuggled fuel since the start of the local calendar year on March 21.