Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, November 16, 2019—After months of planning, the Iranian regime finally declared on Friday that it would increase the price of gasoline up to 300 percent and would cut down on fuel subsidies, putting further pressure on the Iranian population whose lives continue to spiral into poverty and misery. This new development will make the situation even harder for millions of Iranians who are living under the line of poverty.
There is no doubt that the measure was decided at the highest level of authority in the regime. According to state-run media, the price hike was implemented based on the decision of the council of coordination between the legislative, executive and judiciary. And it’s very unlikely that the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, was not actively involved in the decision.
The regime set the stage for this change with controversial remarks by various officials. Iranian officials wanted to thus prepare the public opinion for this shocking change.
According to Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani, 60-70 percent of the people can’t provide for their livelihoods and need help. It is obvious that the 300-percent price hike of gasoline will have a deep impact on the lives of these people, who are already struggling with the increase in prices of daily goods.
The regime, which was extremely worried about the possibly explosive reaction of the people, set its intelligence and military apparatus on alert five days prior to declaring the increase in the price of petrol. Police forces and plainclothes agents were deployed around gas stations and sensitive areas of cities.
But despite all these measures, the reaction of the outraged people of Iran across the country was much more intense than the regime had planned for. In Ahvaz, Shiraz, Tehran, Sirjan, Mashhad, Birjand, Karaj, Behbehan, and many other cities, the people poured into the streets and chanted slogans such as “Dictator be ashamed. Let go of the country,” “We will not give in to disgrace, we will take back the country,” “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life for Iran,” and “The mullahs must get lost.” The protesters also turned off their vehicles and abandoned them in the middle of traffic in protest to the gasoline price hike and the new fuel rationing rules.
The regime disrupted internet access to prevent news of the protests from reaching the world. But by Friday night, hundreds of videos and images from protests in different cities had circulated in social media.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hailed the brave people of Mashhad, Shiraz, Karaj, Sirjan, Ahvaz, and other cities for rising up against the mullahs’ corrupt and criminal regime. She urged all the young people to rise in support of the protesters.
As we’ve witnessed in the past couple of years, the people of Iran use every opportunity to express their disdain and outrage at a corrupt regime that has brought nothing but misery for them in the past 40 years. The protests over the increase in petrol prices is the newest chapter of the ongoing confrontation between the people and the regime.
In his recent trip to Kerman, Rouhani had confessed to the difficult economic situation of the regime and said that the government has a 3-trillion budget deficit and no means to resolve this deficit. Of course, Rouhani didn’t mention that his regime can fully compensate for this deficit if it cuts back on its expensive intervention in the countries of the region and its nuclear and ballistic missiles projects. Neither did he present any concrete plans to deal with government corruption, including in his own inner circle, which has had a devastating effect on the economy.
Instead, he opted to pay the price out of the depleted pockets of the people, and he is now getting his response in the streets of Iran, where the people are chanting anti-regime slogans in every corner of the country.