Prices Double, Will There Be Trouble?

Will the sticker shock of these whopping price increases on life’s basic commodities be the final straw in Iran that breaks the back of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs’ theocratic regime? Are international economic sanctions finally working?

Prices in Iran rise after lifting of subsidies

The Iranian government’s removal of decades-old subsidies for food and energy in an attempt to boost its troubled economy has spurred price increases on everything from fruit and vegetables to gasoline, generated work stoppages and emboldened the political opposition.

In Tehran, the nation’s capital, taxi fares that officially were to rise by 10% shot much higher as drivers imposed their own price increases. Some truckers across the country refused to work, complaining of government threats to revoke their permits if they raised their prices to offset higher fuel costs.

Crews on ferry boats operating between Bandar Abbas port and Qeshm island in the Persian Gulf temporarily stopped working, complaining that the ticket prices set by the government had not gone up despite a four-fold increase in the price of fuel, the Mehr news agency reported.

The austerity measures, though long anticipated, have brought mounting public anger since they began Sunday. Government critics contend that they will hurt people with modest incomes while leaving the wealthy unscathed.

. . .

Already, the prices of produce, diesel, gasoline, cooking oil, water and bread have risen dramatically. In downtown Tehran, the price of a loaf of brick-oven bread doubled overnight to 40 cents. Security forces have been deployed around the country in case public frustration boils over into civil unrest.

See also:
Iran Braces for Backlash as Subsidies Nixed
Iran deploys police as gas, food prices go up
Police in Iran streets as subsidies are cut
Subsidy reforms threaten legitimacy of Ahmadinejad
Iran opposition: ‘Dark future’ awaits the economy
Iran doubles price of bread with subsidy cut
Fuel prices in Iran rise as latest subsidy reforms begin
Ahmadinejad cuts Iranian subsidies, quadrupling the price of gas
Prices to soar as Iran cuts subsidies

Now, if your food prices doubled and your gas prices quadrupled overnight by order of your government, wouldn’t you be a bit upset? Of course, the big question is whether the Iranian opposition can harness all this public frustration and whip it up into the overthrow of the Iranian regime, or will the Iranian regime, once again, crush the opposition and brutally repress the public anger?

You know, it would be nice if the Obama administration was paying attention here and seized this opportunity to support the Iranian opposition, unlike the last time there was a popular uprising in Iran, after the last Iranian elections, when Obama and the rest of his foreign policy Clown Posse basically ignored the Iranian opposition’s pleas for help.

/then again, Obama’s on vacation and heaven forbid that Lord Slacker should have to interrupt his vacation to help some peons in another country, far far way, it’s golfing time!

The M Star Mystery

What the hell happened here? Was it a collision, an explosion, a rogue wave, or something else? So far, your guess is as good as theirs.

Supertanker ‘was damaged by explosion or submarine’

A JAPANESE supertanker which sustained serious hull damage while sailing through the hyper-sensitive Straits of Hormuz was either hit by an explosion or in a collision with a submarine, officials in the United Arab Emirates said yesterday.

When the M Star supertanker reported it had been hit by an “explosion” late on Wednesday, officials in the UAE played down the claim, citing seismic activity and saying the vessel had been hit by “a freak wave”.

Yet yesterday, it was confirmed the crude carrier had been hit by an external force and a specialist on military attacks has been asked to help investigate damage to the 1,100-foot vessel laden with oil for Japan.

“What we know is some collision happened. We don’t know what it was,” said Captain Mousa Mourad, general manager at the UAE port of Fujairah.

See also:
Rogue Wave Is Suspected in Mideast Tanker Blast
Official: Wave not likely cause of Gulf ship blast
Plot thickens over tanker explosion
Cause of explosion on Japanese tanker in Hormuz remains unclear
Damaged oil tanker may have hit a mine
Mitsui O.S.K. Oil Tanker ‘Blasted From Outside’
Giant Supertanker Suffers Mystery Explosion
Japanese supertanker was in collision-official
Japanese tanker was damaged in collision, UAE official says
Japanese tanker may have hit submarine
Oil tanker ‘attacked’ off Oman
Mystery of Japanese tanker damage probed
Questions Swirl About Damaged Japanese Tanker
Oil Tanker Sails Back To Fujairah After Accident
Causes behind Oil Tanker, M. Star incident still mysterious
Japanese Supertanker Explosion Occurred Outside the Strait of Hormuz

A rogue wave sounds unlikely, at least to me. If it was an explosion, shouldn’t there be more discoloration and shrapnel marks or penetration, instead of just a big dent? And looking at the dent, if it was a collision with a submarine, the submarine would have had to be fully or at least partially surfaced. Why wouldn’t the M Star have seen it and where’s the damaged submarine?

/beats me, I have no idea