Cleric blames Rouhani administration for abruptly raising gas price

FNA – Tehran’s provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani censured the government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for not informing the society before the sudden execution of the gas price hike plan.

“A calamity occurred due to a wrong decision that led to the death and injury of several people and damage to some part of the country,” Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani said in an address to Tehran’s Friday sermon, in reference to the riots which followed protests against gas price rise in Iran.

He criticized Rouhani’s administration for having failed to take the necessary precautions, adding “decisions must be taken gradually. People should have been first informed and convinced before the decision took effect. The sudden implementation of the decision upset the people who had been weary of inflation.”

He further advised the government to address the inflation with effective solutions.

In mid-November, the Iranian government raised gas prices in order to moderate the national consumption rate.

The move prompted protests in a number of cities that went largely peaceful but turned violent when armed riotous individuals took advantage of the situation to vandalize public and state property, and attack civilians and security forces alike.

Shortly after the riots broke out, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei tasked the Supreme National Security Council with compiling a report detailing the reasons behind the riots and immediate attending of the families of the victims.

On Thursday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said enemies had plotted to increase the number of fatalities during the recent riots in several cities, adding that most of the people killed in Tehran province were not even involved in any protest gatherings.

“More than 85 percent of the victims of the recent incidents in towns of Tehran Province had not taken part in any gathering and were killed with non-organizational firearms and cold weapons in a very suspicious manner,” said Shamkhani Secretaryfuel price h in a meeting with families of some of the victims of the riots in the Western towns of the province.

He noted that there was certainly a plot hatched by the “adversaries” to cause as many fatalities as possible and pin the blame on Iran’s security forces for the killings.