Iran cuts portion of gasoline subsidies

A petrol station attendant (R) counts money as a man waits for his change at a petrol station in northwestern Tehran.

Iran has cut a portion of its gasoline subsidies, nearly doubling some prices at the pump as part of a second round of cuts delayed since 2012.

Friday’s move will test public support for moderate President Hassan Rowhani in a nation battered by inflation and economic sanctions imposed over Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

Subsidies have kept the cost of gasoline artificially low for consumers in OPEC-member Iran. The slash aims to release government money for production and infrastructural projects.

Under the new pricing scheme, each liter jumped to 7,000 rials (22¢) from 4,000 rials (12¢).

That works out to about 83¢ a gallon under the new pricing structure, compared to 45 cents under the former. Each car has a monthly ration of 60 liters (15.85 gallons).

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