Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The quality of Iran's gasoline below global standards

The quality of Iranian gasoline is said to be below global standards, an assessment that has been rejected by the Iranian government. It is believed to be the main cause of pollution in Tehran, which recently saw the government shut down schools, offices and other public organizations for several days.

Aftab newspaper quoted lawmaker Mohammad Reza Rezaee as saying that the major part of “Tehran's air pollution is due to the lack of standard in production of fuel in the country." While another lawmaker, Qolamali Meygolinejad, said the reason for poor quality gasoline is that Iran's "refineries have been designed to produce petrochemical products not gasoline."

In September, Iran announced that it was going to increase gasoline production in a bid to achieve self-sufficiency, and sidestep the EU and the US imposed sanctions targeting its energy needs. The Islamic Republic used to import 40 per cent of its gasoline before it began producing its own.

"The standard defined by the Iranian Standard Organization for gasoline is Euro 4, but the gasoline produced inside the country does not comply with this standard. Experts have sampled the domestically produced gasoline and the results show that this gasoline is based on the Euro 2 standard with a 87 per cent octane rating," said head of Fardanews agency, Nezameddin Barzegari.

The Iranian government's official web site rejected Barzegari's comments, while Iran's Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi denied the poor quality of the country's gasoline saying it was "comparable with world standards."

Source: Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

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