DUBAI - Iran's government denied on Monday it would treble the price of gasoline as part of subsidy reforms that have been commended by the IMF but caused anger at home among a population struggling under Western trade sanctions.

In a statement carried by the Fars news agency, the office of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said talk of a threefold price increase - broadcast on Friday by Ahmadinejad's bitter critic, the speaker of parliament - was "entirely false".

Speaker Ali Larijani had said the government was looking to triple petrol prices and to double the cost of natural gas as part of a further stage of efforts to reduce spending on subsidies while trying to target relief at the poorest Iranians.

In the statement, Ahmadinejad's office said: "Comments published saying the government has decided to sell gasoline at 2,000 toman per liter are entirely false."

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