Ali Larijani & Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies that his administration will increase the price of gasoline to 2000 toumans a litre and accused his critics in the government of “interference and bad decision making.”

In a speech in Mashhad, the Iranian president referred to his administration’s restructuring of subsidies, saying that his opponents are spreading rumours and “false news”. He alleged that instability in the foreign currency market over the past year was part of a conspiracy against his government’s efforts.

Ahmadinejad stressed that his administration will make every effort to return the foreign currency market to where it was before these upheavals.

Over the past year, the Iranian currency dropped in value by 80 to 90 percent against foreign currencies and although it has rebounded somewhat, it remains at least 40 percent lower than a year ago.

Last month, parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani wrote a letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to criticize Ahmadinejad’s “mishandling” of the subsidy reductions and the cash benefits paid to households to offset the cuts.

Ahmadinejad said in Mashhad: “Some individuals want to interfere in the responsibilities of the executive branch of the government without bearing any executive authority. They keep shouting the government’s decisions are wrong and harmful.”

The restructuring of government subsidies has been a source of consistent dispute between the Ahmadinejad administration and Parliament.

Since government subsidies were cut, the price of a litre of gasoline has gone from 400 toumans to 700 toumans.