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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

02 July 2007

Government Mismanagement Responsible for Iranian Fuel Rationing

State Department says Iranian government is borrowing against its future

Washington -- The Iranian government’s decision to ration fuel for private vehicles is a result of its mismanagement of Iran’s economy, a senior State Department official said July 2.

Spokesman Sean McCormack said the Iranian government “doesn't really have the expertise to properly manage the Iranian economy.”

The sudden June 27 decision by Iranian authorities to limit private drivers to 100 liters of fuel per month caused widespread unrest in the country, including the burning and vandalizing of gasoline stations.

“The fact that you have gas rationing, the fact that you have inflation, the fact that you have the Iranian government borrowing against its future are all indications that this is a government that is writing a lot of checks with its promises,” he said.

The spokesman acknowledged that U.N. Security Council sanctions imposed on Iran “inevitably” are having an effect on the Iranian people, adding “we don’t want that.”  But he said “that effect really only adds marginally to the larger problem of the Iranian government's mismanagement of their economy.”

McCormack added that even though international sanctions on Iran have caused financial difficulties for the Iranian government, the United States and others “are working hard to make sure that the costs of these sanctions aren't borne primarily by the Iranian people.”

The sanctions appear to have “made it more difficult for the Iranian government to engage in illicit activities” and “raised some of the costs for the Iranian government operating in the international financial system.”

McCormack said the sanctions are due to the Iranian government’s “failure to cooperate with the international system,” which has expressed, for example, concern that Iran is developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program.

“[I]f they continue in that sort of defiance of the international system, you're going to see more of these sanctions and there are going to be more costs to the Iranian government,” he said.

(USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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