Tea planters in northern Iran angry over a delay in the purchase of their products by the state tea monopoly attacked and set fire to government vehicles in protest, the ISNA student news agency said Sunday, April 22.
It said more than 1,000 planters demonstrated Thursday in the northern Caspian seacoast town of Langroud to protest delayed purchases of their production by the National Tea Organization.
Officials promised planters the purchases would resume soon, ISNA said.
Most of Iran's tea processing factories are timeworn facilities, primarily located in northern Gilan province, whose production capacities have fallen significantly.
Some 57,000 planters produce an estimated 100,000 tons of tea each year, but large quantities must still be imported each year from India to meet domestic demand. — (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)