Reformist journalist highlights psychological damage of protests

November 26, 2019 - 22:5

TEHRAN – Reformist journalist Abbas Abdi has downplayed the impact of the financial damage of the recent protests as opposed to its “psychological damage”, which he described as a much bigger problem for the country.

“The financial damage of the protests against gasoline price hike is not a major issue compared to its indirect damage,” ISNA on Tuesday quoted Abdi as saying.

“In the future, the consequences of these incidents will not be analyzed by their direct financial damage, because such damage can be compensated,” he said.

Abdi went on to say that the protests harmed the public’s trust in the government, which can lead to full break-off of the relationship between the people and the government. 

The Supreme Economic Coordination Council, which its decisions are approved by the president, parliament speaker and judiciary chief, decided to increase petrol prices after many deliberations, including consultations with economic experts. The petrol subsidy reform plan went into force on November 15. The decision was endorsed by the Leader.

Based on the plan, every car owner is authorized to buy 60 liters of gasoline per month at a price of 1,500 tomans (35 cents). Any amount beyond that is sold at 3,000 tomans. 

The price is based on the official rate of 4,200 tomans per dollar. In the free market, the dollar is currently around 12,000 tomans.

The proceeds from increase in petrol prices are being paid to 60 million citizens, who account for 75 percent of the Iranian population.

Protests erupted in some cities in Iran against increasing gasoline price. In certain cases, the protests turned violent as some rioters attacked security forces with knives and guns. 

Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi said on Friday that maintaining security is the most important issue in the country, stressing that the judiciary will not tolerate any threat to the society’s tranquility.

“Today, Iran is known as the safest country in the region, so we will not allow anybody to put the people’s security in danger,” Raisi pointed out, addressing a gathering of Basiji students in the Imam Ali sports stadium.

MH/PA

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