Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani

Iranian senior cleric Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani has spoken out against “rising inflation and costs” in Iran.

The Iranian Central Bank claims inflation rate is at 12 percent; however, economic experts contend that the rate is much higher.

Mehr News agency reports that Ayatollah Golpayegani spoke with 90 managers and members of Iranian Central Relief Committee, saying: “Inflation is very high these days, and many people are unable to pay their bills. It is necessary to provide significant aid to people faced with hardships and economic pressures so that they are not overwhelmed by the economic difficulties.”

In the past two months, after the government scrapped its subsidies on energy and food staples, gas and electricity bills have increased several times, which has led to widespread complaints.

Despite Ayatollah Golpayegani’s call for assistance to low-income families, the minister of welfare said today that the government has paid unprecedented attention to the lower strata of the society to help them meet their basic needs.

He said cutting subsidies is a step toward reducing the gap between the rich and the poor.