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Iranians to Face Gasoline Rationing

Mark September on your calendars. In September, the Iranian government is set to begin gasoline rationing for Iranian motorists...drivers who are used to paying pennies per gallon in abundant supply.

Cheap fuel is regarded as a national right in the world's fourth biggest producer of crude oil and OPEC's number two exporter.

But such days of petroleum largesse are set to end. Iran is due to start rationing fuel in September in a move that risks provoking social discontent. While Iran is a major oil producer, its refineries have a capacity of just 40 million litres of petrol a day: demand is close to 70 million litres.

The mullahcracy has long sold the nuclear weapons program as peaceful externally and a matter of national pride internally. This will be the point at which the Iranian people possibly more loudly question the cost of the clandestine nuclear program.

This weakness was considered among the top possible sanctions against Iran, as it must import nearly as much refined gasoline as it produces internally.

Curious that Iran intends to announce their position on the P-5+1 nuclear proposal in mid August, and are announcing September gasoline rationing now. "Slashing the budget" for gasoline imports now is a clear sign Iran has already decided to thumb the P-5+1 proposal, as an attempt to mute any possible sanction's effect.

How much can national pride be championed when a government atop OPEC's #2 oil producer must begin rationing gasoline? Do not underestimate the resonating effects of this issue internally in Iran.

This will be a blow to the regime when it takes effect. In effect, Iran essentially just sanctioned itself...or rather, its citizens.