Iran General NewsMortar in Tehran fails to explode: report

Mortar in Tehran fails to explode: report

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Reuters: A mortar shell hit a petrol station in Tehran but failed to explode, an Iranian news agency said on Tuesday, but a senior oil official later said the device landed 100 meters away. TEHRAN (Reuters) – A mortar shell hit a petrol station in Tehran but failed to explode, an Iranian news agency said on Tuesday, but a senior oil official later said the device landed 100 meters away.

The incident came six days after the government launched a delayed gasoline rationing scheme, sparking chaotic and sometimes violent scenes. One Iranian report last week said 19 petrol stations were set alight in the capital.

“This mortar shell was found about 100 meters from the petrol station and is not related to the petrol station at all,” Morteza Zaghi, director of a company distributing oil products in Tehran, told the Oil Ministry’s Web site Shana.

The semi-official Fars News Agency had said the device was fired late on Monday at a pump station in eastern Tehran.

“This mortar shell which was fired from an unknown place failed to function after hitting the fuel station,” it quoted an informed source as saying, without elaborating. Bomb disposal experts arrived at the scene to defuse the device, it said.

OPEC’s number two producer introduced rationing on June 27 to curb costly imports and soaring consumption of subsidized fuel. Despite its vast oil reserves, Iran lacks refining capacity, forcing it to import 40 percent of gasoline needs. Many Iranians regard cheap and abundant fuel as a right.

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