updated 11/12/2010 8:01:44 AM ET 2010-11-12T13:01:44

Iran says it has paid $14.7 billion into bank accounts of about 20 million families in the country as compensation for a planned cut in subsidies for energy and foodstuffs due later this year.

Iranian state TV says the transactions were completed by midnight Thursday.

Friday's report says 820,000 rails, or about $80, were deposited for every family member as a lump sum for the first two months of the planned cut. It's unclear what will happen after that period.

The recipients will not be able to withdraw the money until the subsidies are actually cut. Many experts believe the cut will trigger price hikes for many staples.

Iran says it pays about $100 billion in subsidies. Experts believe the amount is about $30 billion.

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