27 Jun 2007

Civil Unrest in Iran

As the mullah’s regime approaches nearer and nearer to open war with the West, the impact of UN sanctions is producing domestic unrest.

Blooomberg:

Iranians rioted in the streets of Tehran after the government imposed rationing of gasoline, which the country spends $5 billion a year to import.

Starting today, drivers will be allowed 100 liters, or about 26 gallons, of gasoline a month, Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said on state television. Taxis will get 800 liters. Lawmakers said earlier this month drivers would probably get five or six liters a day, 50 percent more than the program actually grants them.

“At least” five filling stations in Tehran were burned and damaged following the announcement, Nasser Raissi-Far, the head of Tehran province’s filling station union, told state-run Mehr news.

Although Iran holds the world’s second-biggest energy reserves, it imports more than 40 percent of the gasoline it uses. Demand is buoyed by subsidies while supply is restricted by waste and lack of refinery capacity. Service stations in Iran sell the fuel at 1,000 Iranian rials a liter, about 42 U.S. cents a gallon.

The dependence on imports makes Iran vulnerable to United Nations economic sanctions, which are likely to increase in coming months if it refuses to suspend uranium enrichment. Since December, the UN Security Council has limited the transfer of nuclear technology and the international travel of some Iranian officials.

PJM has video.

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