There was an eruption of protest in cities across Iran, less than 24 hours after the announcement of a surprise decision to impose petrol price hikes and rationing.
The demonstrations on Friday night were “severe” in Sirjan in central Iran as “people attacked a fuel storage warehouse in the city and tried to set fire to it,” state news agency IRNA said.
But police intervened to prevent them, it reported.
IRNA said “scattered” protests also broke out in other cities including Abadan, Ahvaz, Bandar Abbas, Birjand, Gachsaran, Khoramshahr, Mahshahr, Mashhad and Shiraz.
They were mostly limited to blocking traffic and were over by midnight, the news agency added.
Iran imposed petrol rationing and raised pump prices by at least 50 percent on Friday, saying the move was aimed at helping citizens in need with cash handouts.
The measure was expected to bring in 300 trillion rials ($2.55 billion) per annum, the head of the country’s Planning and Budget Organisation, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, said on state television.
About 60 million Iranians in need would get payments ranging from 550,000 rials ($4.68) for couples to slightly more than two million rials ($17.46) for families with five members or more, he said.