Iran Postpones Second Round of Subsidy Cuts

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
An Iranian lawmaker says the country

FILE- In this Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 file photo, an Iranian street money changer holds Iranian banknotes with a portrait of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in the main old Bazaar of Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- An Iranian lawmaker says the country's parliament has postponed the implementation of a second round of subsidy cuts until 2013 over fears of stoking already rampant inflation.

The head of the parliamentary budgetary and planning committee Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam told the semiofficial Mehr news agency the second phase of the three-part plan would likely cause a 15-percent jump in the inflation rate, which is officially running at almost 25 percent.

Iran began cutting subsidies on energy and food in 2010.

The second phase, which targeted gasoline subsidies, was to take effect in March 2012.

Parliament's decision Tuesday officially pushed back the second round of cuts to March 2013.

Iran has been under increasing economic sanctions by the West that suspects Iran is pursuing nuclear weapon, a charge Iran denies.

AP-WF-11-13-12 1328GMT

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