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Iran's Khamenei backs fuel price hike

Iranians have taken their anger over fuel price hikes to the streets.

Blocking traffic and protesting in more than 100 cities and towns across Iran.

This is one demo in Tehran.

The show on the streets dismissed by Iran's supreme leader as being backed by opponents and foreign enemies.

Live on state TV Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he was supportive of the gasoline price rises.

(SOUNDBITE)(Farsi) IRAN'S SUPREME LEADER AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, SAYING (STARTS ON WIDE VIEW OF KHAMENEI ON STAGE):

"What I want to say is that no one should help these hooligans, no wise and deserving person interested in his own country, interested in his comfortable life should help them. They are the hooligans and not the ordinary people."

The government announced on Friday that the price of a litre of regular gasoline would rise.

Explaining the increase was expected to raise around $2.55 billion a year for extra subsidies for millions of families on lower incomes.

Iranians are heavy car and taxi users.

The government said the cost of using taxis and public transport wouldn't change.

Since the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran - many Iranians are frustrated by the sharp devaluation of their currency and spikes in the cost of bread, rice and other staples.

Khamenei, who has the last say on all state matters, called on officials to prevent hikes in prices of other goods.