No fuel card in 40 days in Iran
40 days in august/september 2010 and never used a card (nor in summer 2008).
We paid 4000/litre as well (1€=13000R at the time, thus around 35 € cents/lt). If i am wrong, correct me, but we "inferred" this:
- Iranians pay 1000/litre till a established quota that depends on their needs (more litres for a truck/taxi driver; less for a regular Iranian).
- Once used all the quota, Iranians start to pay 4000/litre, as you always do as a foreigner.
Thus, just anyone who exceeds his quota could always help you with his card, but we never understood the cards traffic they had when it came our turn. Only once a guy got really confused but he just got someone's else card and we got the fuel easily. As crazymanneil said, they will always help and find the way and you will get petrol at 4000 with no big hassle.
I emphasize this is our best understanding, but may be wrong.
Ah, at the time the government was planning to reduce subsidies to fuel and electricity to increase prices drastically (electricity like 5 times more). Maybe they change their mind with the riots in neighbouring countries...