Oil truck drivers in Iran have started a new strike demanding improved working conditions, and the industrial action has resulted in large lines forming at gasoline stations in Iran, The Middle East Monitor reports, quoting the Anadolu Agency and local media.
The strike is the second that truck drivers in Iran have staged this year, after a prolonged strike action in May in which they protested against rising costs for insurance, repairs, spare parts, and tolls, while their wages were stagnant. Back in May, the government has reportedly agreed to raise the pay for truckers by 15 percent, VOA reported.
According to The Middle East Monitor, nothing has been done yet to meet the truckers’ demands from May.
The latest industrial action by oil truckers in Iran comes less than two months after the first set of U.S. sanctions on Iran snapped back, and just six weeks before the second round of sanctions, including on Iran’s key revenue source—oil exports—kick in.
Over the past few months, Iran’s economy has faltered, and its currency, the rial, hit a new low this week against the U.S. dollar on the unofficial exchange rate.
According to data compiled by U.S. economist Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University, Iran’s annual inflation rate as of Monday was 293 percent—an all-time high.
The economic hardships are causing a surge in the price of goods, including diapers. Shortages of goods also abound, with Iranian authorities conducting raids to confiscate illegal hoards of rare and costly items such as diapers.
The sanctions on Iran’s oil are now expected to remove more than 1 million bpd from the oil market, compared to earlier projections of around a 500,000-bpd loss, before the United States started to show signs that waivers would be given sparingly, if at all.
Although Iran’s oil exports are unlikely to drop to zero, they could halve to 1 million bpd-1.3 million bpd, Ben Luckock, co-head of oil trading at commodity trader Trafigura, told S&P Global Platts this week.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.