Iran rushes in subsistence money for all citizens to help quell petrol price protests

By bne IntelliNews November 17, 2019

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has announced that he has expedited subsistence help that will start on November 18 for citizens, following the mass protests against his government across Iran after officials brought in a sudden petrol price hike of a minimum 50% for motorists prior to the weekend.

According to a 30-minute cabinet address by Rouhani, each person in Iran will receive IRR550,000 (€4.00 per person at the street rate) for a family of four, or IRR2.05mn (€12.20) for a family of five per month.

Rouhani said the subsistence would be paid first thing tomorrow to people’s accounts, despite the government not receiving the dividends of the petrol price rise as yet.

“After implementing this plan, we saw that some people took to the streets to protest. I believe that it is natural when the administration implements a plan and not everyone agrees to it. Some people may be opposed [to that plan] and they have the right to give voice to their opposition,” the president said.

Rouhani said that if the government hadn’t increased fuel prices the country would have been forced to become a net importer of petrol. Such a situation might pose a problem for Iran given the crushing US sanctions it is under.

Even after the hike, Iran’s petrol prices are among the lowest in the world.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Fars News Agency that government officials estimated that the nationwide protests against the petrol price move involved around 87,000 people. One Iranian news outlet claimed that a Western news agency had reported that 16mn people had taken to the streets in the country of 82mn.

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