Former Iranian oil minister summoned to court over substandard gasoline case

Oil&Gas Materials 1 September 2014 17:49 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 1

By Fatih Karimov, Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

Two Iranian attorneys have said that Masoud Mirkazemi, Iran's oil minister in former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration, has been summoned to court, ILNA news agency reported.

One of the attorneys, Peiman Hajmahmoud Attar said that him and two of his colleagues - Mostafa Tork Hamedani and Alireza Daghighi - have filed a case against Mirkazemi at the branch 15 of the court for government staff.

He added that the case's prosecutor has gathered data from the health ministry and the environment protection organization before calling Mirkazemi to the court.

According to ISNA news agency, Tork Hamedani said that since evidence shows that the gasoline which is produced by refineries causes diseases, the inspector has summoned the then oil minister.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Environment Protection Organization Masoumeh Ebtekar said on Aug. 31 that the organization has handed over documents regarding the substandard gasoline case to legal authorities.

"We are not complaining about the substandard gasoline case. We were invited as the informed body and we delivered all the necessary documents," Ebtekar said.

Hamedani said on August 5 that the legal representative of the environment protection organization has provided the court with documents regarding the substandard gasoline production during the ruling of the previous administration.

He added that the amount of pollutants in gas stations was very high in 1391 (March 2012 - March 2013), but declined significantly the year after.

The three attorneys have accused Mirkazemi for "acting against public health".

Reciprocally, Mirkazemi complained against the three attorneys for spreading lies and false propaganda.

Iran used to import 40 percent of its needed gasoline by 2009. But, the international sanctions forced it to produce gasoline domestically through adding lead or some poisonous chemical catalysts such as MTBE to the product. MTBE is a highly poisonous substance which causes cancer. It is banned worldwide to be used for gasoline production.

The administration of President Hassan Rouhani ordered to stop the distribution of substandard gasoline. Rouhani has said that the situation has improved in large cities which are being supplied with Euro-4 gasoline.

Masoumeh Ebtekar, the director of Iran's environment protection organization, said on August 2 that euro-4 gasoline is currently distributed in Tehran, Karaj, Arak, and Tabriz, and that 8 other cities will be added to the list by the end of autumn.