Iran petrol rationing spark riot

TEHRAN, June 26, 2007 (AFP) – Angry Iranian youths attacked a petrol station in the capital Tehran on Tuesday, burning a car and pumps after the government announced it was going to begin rationing fuel, witnesses said. However, problems in distributing the cards have delayed implementation of the rest of the plan. Pumping gas into the cars is only possible when the smart card is inserted into the pumping machine. The youths, who attacked the station in the Pounak area of northwest Tehran, also threw stones and shouted angry slogans denouncing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Since the announcement earlier Tuesday of the rationing plan, which allows for only 100 litres of petrol per month for private cars, long queues started appearing at fuel pumps not only in Tehran but also in the countryside.

“One car, a Peugeot Persia, was burnt inside the petrol station which was partially on fire,” an AFP journalist said after witnessing the attack in Pounak.

“The demonstrators were throwing stones.

Anti-riot police deployed in the neighbouring streets intervened regularly to disperse the demonstrators before pulling back,” he added.

According to an Iranian journalist, another petrol station in the