For many years economists have been saying that Iran’s government was spending too much of its GDP subsidizing fuel, food, and other essentials for everyone (about $100 billion a year). Now President Ahmadinejad’s administration, which initially chalked up quite a reputation for lavish spending, is bracing itself to end the party and take away the subsidies. Commentators reckon that the average Iranian benefits to the tune of about $4000 a year from the state subsidies, and the question they are all asking is, how will they cope when prices of basic items take a leap upwards. Already questions are being asked in parliament about the exact details of the subsidy reform plan, and no doubt the police are getting ready for some street anger. The last time the fuel subsidies were reduced, there was ugly unrest at the petrol pumps. The government has said there will be cash subsidies for the poor, but this will not help the middle classes. Christians, who often find it difficult to find good jobs due to discrimination against their faith, are likely to feel the full brunt of these measures.