The National Iranian oil products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) announced new gas prices hikes in Iran on Friday, a move that could spark widespread protests in the country. Iran’s gas price hikes were not announced from before.
According to the NIOPDC, the price of rationed gas has increased by 50% while the price of free gas has tripled.
Every person with one car in Iran is allowed 60 liters of gas a month.
According to reports and videos published on social media platforms, the Iranian regime has stationed security forces and police at gas stations across the country in fear of protests.
The last major protests in Iran, which started in late December 2017, occurred after a sudden price hike in foodstuff. The protests quickly turned political and targeted the Supreme Leader of the regime, with people chanting “Death to Khamenei”.
Iran’s gas price hikes has angered Iranians. Social media platforms are awash with angry posts, with people calling for widespread protests against the regime.
According to Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, the head of the Planning and Budget Organization, the proceeds from the price hikes would be used to fund additional subsidies for 18 million needy families. With gas price hikes, the price off all other goods would also increase. Therefore, the government subsidies would not really make a difference, even if the regime was planning to give the proceeds to the needy, instead of funding its proxies.
According to videos and reports from Iran and social media platforms, angry Iranians in Ahvaz, southwestern Iran went to gas stations after midnight when Iran’s gas price hikes were implemented, to protest the price hikes.
The regime chose today, a national holiday in Iran which marks the birth of the prophet Mohammad, to implement the gas price hikes.
Many believe that this could be the last straw in a series of price hikes in Iran and could spark widespread unrest, the likes of which were seen in early 2018.