Hojatoleslam Mohammad Jafar Montazeri

Prosecutor general: People not to allow disruptors to derail their economic protest

Tehran Times – Iran’s Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri on Saturday gave a stern warning to those who try to disrupt the society’s security, noting that the people will not allow such rancorous elements to derail their economic-based protests against gas price rise.

“The people will certainly separate their path with a few disruptors who have embarked on blocking roads and attacking the public places. The people surely hate such violent acts,” the prosecutor general said.

“Based on law, such disruptive acts are considered as crime, so the police and judicial bodies are committed to counter those disruptors who embark on damaging public properties and places,” he stressed.

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.

Saudi-backed media riding on gas price rise protests in Iran

FNA reported on Saturday that a host of Saudi-backed media outlets, pouncing on small protests against gas price rise in Iran, are re-posting past or fake videos and footages to create a media hype against Tehran.

Scattered protests in some spots in Iran against a sudden increase of gas price lured some Saudi media to immediately take advantage of the situation, particularly in the cyber space, to escalate the protests.

The main efforts of these media are concentrated on painting the protests against an economic issue (gas price rise) as a political movement and highlighting some minor cases of radical chants.

The Farsi channel of Al Arabiya network, Arabic edition of the Independent, the Arabic edition of Asharq Al-Awsat, the Farsi section of the official Saudi Press Agency (WAS), the Farsi section of Alekhbariya network, and the most active Saudi media of these days, Iran International, have all been wiring old videos and continued hype to concentrate world attention on Iran.

A meticulous analysis of these media’s type of coverage and their intentional hype shows that they are following a news line similar to their plans in Iraq and Lebanon in the past months. Spreading rumors, fabricating a tally of killed protestors, and deviating the chants from economic grievances against the Establishment are expected to be followed by a massive online campaign with the use of cyber robots. These were the main reasons why the Iraqi government was forced to shut down the office of Al Arabiya in Baghdad.