TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran’s managing policies succeeded to reduce domestic fuel consumption by over nine billion liters in the past 18 months, said the head of the Headquarters to Combat Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Exchange.
In an address to a press conference on Monday, Ali Moayedi-Khoramabadi, added diesel accounted for 90 percent of the decrease in fuel consumption in this period, IRNA reported.
He noted that in the past few years, diesel has become a lucrative commodity for smugglers.
Fighting rampant fuel smuggling to neighboring countries has always been a serious concern for Iran, which has some of the world’s cheapest fuel prices due to heavy government subsidies.
In a bid to curb fuel – particularly gasoline – smuggling from the country, on November 15, Iran introduced gasoline rationing and price hikes with Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, the head of the country’s Plan and Budget Organization, saying that the revenue would be used to increase the amount of monthly subsidies granted to 18 million needy families.
Following the Iranian government’s announcement, Iran’s fuel consumption declined to 75 million liters per day from 95 million liters per day, IRNA reported.
Moayedi-Khoramabadi noted that US unilateral sanctions, imposed on Iran following Washington’s withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six major powers, have had an impact on goods and foreign currency smuggling from the country.
“However, we have made efforts to prepare the ground in such a way as to prevent smuggling of basic goods from the country.”
The official noted that smuggled items worth over $2.26 billion have been discovered and seized since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019), indicating a significant rise compared to the figure for the same period last year.
“In the area of combatting fuel smuggling, we managed to focus on main networks and arrest a key player thanks to efforts by Iran’s Judiciary and the intelligence organization of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. In this case, it was proved that hundreds of million liters of fuel had been smuggled from the country. Over the past few days, the final verdict was issued regarding the case and the culprit was given a $34.52 million fine.”
The official put at 86,000, valued at $2.14 billion, the number of smuggling cases being pursued by Iran’s judicial system since March 2019.
The Iranian government, he said, seeks to root out smuggling in Iran by setting up systems to this end.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews