Press TV – Members of the Iranian parliament, known as Majlis, have protested a government decision to increase the price of gasoline at short notice, saying they will submit a motion to revise the controversial move.
Mojtaba Zonnour, who chairs Iranian parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, said on Saturday that he and other lawmakers in the parliament will oppose the fuel price hike mainly because it had not been coordinated with the parliament.
“In the very early hours of work in Majlis on Sunday, I and a significant number of nation’s representatives, to whom I have spoken on the phone, will demand the suspension and cancellation of the government move to increase the price of gasoline,” said Zonnour in an interview with the IRIB News.
The new gasoline prices were announced 00:00 local time on Friday, without any prior notice from the government. The decision has sparked unrest and clashes in various Iranian cities.
Member of Majli Committee on Plan and Budget Hamidreza Hajibabayi also said on Saturday that the price hikes were illegal and would harm the interests of the people and the country.
In a letter addressed to the Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, the Iranian lawmaker strongly protested the sidelining of the parliament in adopting such a sensitive decision.
On the illegality of the move, Hajibabayi claimed the government would pocket an income of more than $9 billion from increasing the price of gasoline, insisting that the law governing the budget of the current Iranian calendar year, which ends in March, had only allowed a third of that income.
The Iranian government has said it would spend all of more than $2.5 billion earned from the gasoline price hike on cash handouts and other form of subsidies targeting more than 70 percent of the Iranian population.