Iranians, Given No Choice, Adjust to Soaring Prices
Wall Street Journal / Farnaz Fassihi
21-Jan-2011 (one comment)
Iran's plan to save money by significantly cutting subsidies for fuel, electricity and basic food items has had an unexpected response: many Iranians, cushioned from the impact and threatened with arrest if they complain, are quietly adjusting to the rising cost of daily living.

Iranian consumers say they have cut back on fuel consumption to adapt to a jump in prices at the pump.

Gasoline consumption fell 14% by early January from the time the first cuts were introduced on Dec. 20, said Oil Minister Seyed Masound Mir Kazemi.

Household consumption of gas dropped 5%, energy officials said. Use of public transport has increased by nearly 20% since gasoline prices were raised from 1,000 rials (about 10 cents) per liter to 4,000 rials, according to transport officials. Fares for Tehran's buses and subway were increased by only 20%.

Authorities prepared for a harsher response. The first cuts were introduced only after multiple delays by a parliament concerned about public backlash. Restrictions were imposed on the media and a surge of security forces deployed in the capital to stifle expressions of discontent. And the government introduced a $40 per-person monthly stipend to soften the blow.

The government also threatened to severely punish businesses that raise prices to cover rising costs, further cushioning consumers.

Concerns about a backlash apparently persist: On Wednesday, authorities raised t... >>>

recommended by



soaring prices

by shamsi on

Dear God,   Would you please tell us, what have we done to deserve this? We were happy, well to do, enjoying life, then hell broke loose, my people , my dear dear country men, are suffering, please god, hear us, listen to us, help us to get our country and our life back !!!   Sincerely,   The sad iranian !