MAJOR: Russia suspects external forces are involved in Iranian riots


MOSCOW – The Kremlin does not rule out that behind the deterioration of the situation in Iran are external forces, said Zamir Kabulov, director of the Second Asia Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

On November 15, the Tehran authorities approved restrictions on the sale of gasoline and increased the price of the product, a measure that caused protests in which at least one person perished.

“The current situation is already difficult and tense: the significant increase in gasoline prices, of course, added fuel to the fire, but external forces are also actively working,” said the diplomat.

Kabulov stressed that at the moment there is no information about any victim of the riots who are of Russian origin.

“The Embassy, ​​of course, is aware of the events, but has not received any information in this regard,” he said.

Individual motorists, according to the new measures, can fill up to 60 liters of gasoline per month, while taxi drivers can have 400 liters.

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The measure also includes an increase in the price of gasoline from 50% to 15,000 rials (about 30 cents) per liter. Gasoline that exceeds the quota will be sold to 30,000 rials.

Iran, one of the countries with the largest oil reserves, until recently was forced to import gasoline due to problems with oil refining.

At the beginning of 2019, the Iranian Minister of Petroleum, Biyán Zangané, assured that his country overcame the shortage of gasoline and ceased imports of the product in mid-2018. He added that Iran is currently able to export gasoline.

Back in September, Iran’s Energy Exchange chief Seyed Ali Hoseini said that his country’s exports of gasoline and liquefied natural gas broke new records.

According to statistical data, published by the Iranian Government and cited by local media, gasoline production exceeded 115 million liters per day while the Persian country needed only 90 million liters to meet its domestic needs.

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