Iran begins payments to 60 million as petrol price protests continue

The Guardian | : Government claims it is switching subsidies from petrol consumption to households

Iran’s government has begun rushing out promised direct payments to 60 million Iranians, in a sign that the regime has been spooked by the scale of protests against petrol price rises announced last week.

In some cases petrol prices are being raised by as much as 300%. Unrest continued throughout Iran on Monday and internet access remained blocked for a second day.

Videos smuggled out of the country showed municipal buildings and banks being torched and large traffic jams as drivers blocked roads. The clashes seemed fiercest in the cities of Shiraz and Ahvaz rather than in Tehran As many as 1,000 people have been arrested.

In announcing the price rise on Thursday, the government said it was not seeking to raise state revenues but instead undertaking a complex switch in government subsidies.

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