Iran’s new fuel rationing plan sparks public fury, long lines

By Xinhua

Tehran : Iran's launching of a long-delayed fuel rationing plan on Wednesday sparked public fury as well as long lines before gas stations across the country, local media reported.

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The ISNA news agency quoted an official as saying that 19gasoline stations were torched overnight in the capital city of Tehran after the government's announcement late on Tuesday that the rationing would start from midnight.

"From midnight tonight (2030 GMT) gasoline for all vehicles and motorcycles will be rationed," state television said on Tuesday evening in an announcement quoting an oil ministry statement.

Private cars will get 100 liters of gasoline a month but less if they also burn compressed natural gas, state TV said. Taxis will have a ration of 800 litres of gasoline per month.

Shortly after the announcement, many motorists rushed to gas stations to fill up before the plan went into effect. Some angry people in the capital set gas stations afire or threw stones at them.

Local Fars news agency quoted a judge as saying on Wednesday that police detained 80 people in the capital over the unrest.

More than 10 days ago, Iran launched the first phase of the rationing plan, which targeted only government vehicles. The plan aims to reduce colossal gasoline subsidies.

"The maximum quota for each government car at the start of the program is 10 liters per day," an oil ministry official said at the time.