Protests erupted in Iran last Friday after the government unexpectedly announced it was rationing petrol and removing subsidies - sending prices up by 50%.

The BBC says the measures are the latest sign of pressure on the Iranian economy after the re-imposition of US sanctions.

At least one person has reportedly been killed and others injured in the violence.

Meanwhile, Iranian Officials say the changes, which have seen prices rise by at least 50%, will free up money to help the poor. 

Iran's Interior Minister has warned security officials will step up action against protesters taking to the streets over a new petrol policy.

In a statement on Sunday, Ayatollah Khamenei acknowledged that some people were "no doubt worried" by the decision to increase fuel prices.  “But sabotage and arson is done by hooligans not our people,” Iran’s Supreme Leader said, quoted by state TV.

According to Iran’s Press TV, experts say rationing fuel in Iran would prevent tens of millions of liters of gasoline being wasted each day in a country, which still grapples with the economic impacts of a series of American sanctions.

“We have to defend the policy of gasoline price hike as it help eradicate poverty in the short run,” said Ali Sarzaeim, a professor of economy at Tehran’s university of Allameh Tabatabyi.

The economist said fuel price hike would enable the Iranian government to increase the amount of cash it hands out to the needy across the country.