Cleric Calls for Energy Saving in Iran

A03693019.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) Tehran’s interim Friday Prayers leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani called on Iranians to watch out for any wasteful use of the country’s heavily subsidized energy supplies, cautioning that Iranians are the only world nation consuming cheap energy supplies extravagantly.

Addressing a large congregation of worshippers on Tehran University Campus here on Friday, Ayatollah Kashani demanded the government and parliament to devise more plans and make the needed arrangements to boost Iran’s energy exports.

He further complained that Iranian people are using energy resources wastefully.

“Energy, (drinking) water, electricity and bread are sold at an actual price in the world (countries), but this is not the case in our country, we are consuming them wastefully,” the cleric said.

He noted the shortage of gas supplies in certain northern Iranian cities in recent days, and said although both the parliament and government are responsible for supplying energy to the people, “the ignorance shown in energy consumption in Iran is not happening in any other part of the world.”

Iran, OPEC’s number two oil producer, in late June finally introduced a long-awaited plan to ration petrol to decrease the colossal state subsidies paid for keeping pump prices low.

Petrol in Iran is now charged at 1,000 rials (11 cents) – still less than a comparable amount of mineral water.

Last month, Iran started to allow motorists an extra 20 liters (5.2 gallons) of petrol a month under the rationing scheme. Private cars now have a monthly quota of 120 liters (31.2 gallons) for the next four months.

The average daily consumption was about 59 million liters during six months of rationing, showing a 22 percent fall in comparison with the same period in the previous year.

Yet, Iran has announced that it aims to end gasoline rationing by March 2009 through expanding domestic production of fuel and encouraging the use of vehicles powered by natural gas.

“Probably by the end of the coming Iranian year, rationing will end. We are trying to control consumption from one side and increase production from the other side,” Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh told reporters at an energy conference in December.

The current Iranian year ends in March 2008 and the next one ends in March 2009.

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