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Iran to remove 1 million more wealthy citizens from welfare rolls to ease budget crisis

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran will stop giving cash handouts to another million of its wealthiest citizens in order to ease a budget crisis caused in part by sanctions linked to its disputed nuclear program.

State TV quoted Labor and Social Welfare Minister Ali Rabiei as saying Sunday that the cuts will be implemented by Aug. 22.

An earlier removal of 1 million people from the rolls freed up $15 million a month.

The government has been distributing about $15 a month to the vast majority of Iranians since 2010 as compensation for cuts in food and energy subsidies. Some 4 million Iranians voluntarily withdrew from the program last year.

Iran has agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for lifting sanctions, but it could take months for the agreement to be implemented.

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