Fuel consumption falls in Iran after subsidy cut

TEHERAN, Iran — A top Iranian official on Wednesday said the country's fuel consumption has fallen by a fifth since the government began slashing energy and food subsidies earlier this month.
Iranian Vice President Mohammad Royanian told state TV that quadrupling the prices for subsidized gasoline has already dropped consumption by 20 percent.
The government started slashing subsidies on Dec. 19 in efforts to boost the country's ailing economy.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called the subsidy cut plan the "biggest surgery" on Iran's economy in half a century and vowed to fully cut all subsidies by the end of his term in 2013.
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