Police in Iran streets as subsidies to be cut

AP Dec 19
TEHRAN, Iran – Groups of policemen have appeared at major intersections in the capital Tehran, in apparent anticipation of unrest as the Iranian government makes sensitive cuts to subsidies.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said cuts of energy and food subsidies would start from Sunday.

Under the new system, each car would receive 60 liters of fuel per month at a subsidized price of 40 cents per liter, a four-fold increase. Further gasoline purchased would cost 70 cents a liter, compared to 40 cents before.

In 2007, angry protesters set dozens of gas stations on fire after the system of fuel rationing was implemented.

Witnesses say clusters of riot police could be seen at every major square in the city. There has been no official explanation or report of disorder so far.

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