TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's opposition leaders said that a "dark future" awaits the economy because the government didn't listen to economists when it slashed energy and food subsidies in a country already struggling under biting UN sanctions.
Former presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi support the government's effort to rein in subsidies but said in a rare statement posted on their websites Wednesday that it is being implemented badly.
The opposition leaders, who believe President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole the June 2009 election through massive vote fraud, said the way the government is slashing subsidies only brings more hardship to the country.
Fuel prices have at least quadrupled and bread prices have more than doubled in the past week since the government started dramatically reducing subsidies.
"Enforcing this plan, while Iran is facing tough international sanctions and its economy is in recession with an unemployment rate of over 30 percent and wild inflation, is a burden on medium and low-income families," Mousavi and Karroubi said in a statement posted on kaleme.com.