Cars are queueing for fuel in Iran in scenes that are reminiscent of the 1980-88 war with Iraq, as a delivery drivers’ strike begins to have an effect on supplies. The strike began four days’ ago in the southern provinces, but has turned into a general strike of drivers across all of Iran’s 31 provinces.
Drivers are objecting to the decision of the Ministry of Roads and Transportation to prevent the raising of their fees. They have thus stopped the transportation of goods and fuel, and forced their colleagues to participate in the strike, causing a fuel crisis in petrol stations.
Iran’s Oil Company has tried to reassure people that the country has enough fuel. However, this has not curbed the rush to the petrol stations, which have been running out of supplies due to the unusual demand.
The head of the Union of Load and Transportation Institutions in Iran, Mohammad Khan Bloki, told Al-Jarida that the ministry offered drivers a 20 per cent increase, but they refused and demanded twice that amount. Bloki said that the union is currently negotiating a compromise to increase transport fees between 40 and 50 per cent, otherwise drivers would not move their trucks.
Some drivers, it is reported, have threatened to stop their vehicles in the middle of the main roads and cause major congestion if the government continues to procrastinate over their demands.