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Iran’s Gasoline Consumption Plunges After Massive Price Hike

Gasoline consumption in Iran dropped to 79 million liters per day in the week following the 50-percent fuel price hike, from an average 98 million liters per day in the Iranian year so far, according to Iran’s oil ministry, cited by Iranian media.

Earlier this month, Iran raised by 50 percent gasoline prices—which are some of the cheapest in the world—and introduced limits on gasoline purchases to help needy households as U.S. sanctions cripple the economy. 

The price hike sparked nationwide protests in the country, in which, according to Amnesty International, at least 143 people have been killed in a violent crackdown.

“The rising death toll is an alarming indication of just how ruthless the treatment of unarmed protesters has been by the Iranian authorities and reveals their appalling assault on human life,” Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said in a statement on Monday.

Amnesty International called on the international community to “condemn these killings in the strongest possible terms and describe these events for what they are – the deadly and wholly unwarranted use of force to crush dissent.”

Iran blames its enemies for the violence in the protests.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week that Iran and its people had defeated the conspiracies of its enemies and claimed victory in the protests.

The protests come as Iran’s economy has been severely struggling since the U.S. sanctions on its oil industry started last year to cut into the Islamic Republic’s oil export revenues—the main source of government income.

Iran’s economy is in steep recession, and inflation exceeds 30 percent.

After the start of the protests against the fuel price hike, Iran shut down the Internet for a week. Access to the Internet started to return this Saturday, according to NetBlocks. According to the group, basic connectivity is returning, but access is being filtered and many users in Iran have only restricted access to the outside world.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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