The Iranian government increased the monthly cash payment to the Iranian people, Iran Independent News Service (IINS) announced on Monday. On Saturday night, the Iranian government transferred 280,000 rials, which equals to some 15 U.S. dollars, to the accounts of Iranian individuals. On Sunday, one U.S. dollar was exchanged for 19,000 Iranian rials in Tehran\'s street market. The money is an additional amount to 455,000 rials, some 24 U.S. dollars, which every Iranian has already been receiving every month as a compensation for the subsidy cut launched late in 2010. According to the semi-official Mehr news agency, it is unclear whether 280,000 rials is allocated for one month or two months as an added money for the cash handouts. The payment effected without any prior announcement by the government leading to the assumption that it would be the start of the second phase of the economic reform aiming at the cut in subsidies paid on different energy carriers and some basic foodstuff, said IINS. Behrouz Moradi, head of the organization for the economic reform plan, was quoted as saying on Sunday that the payment of the additional amount was for the second phase of the reform, which people cannot use until its official announcement within the next one or two months. Such unexpected moves by the Iranian government usually mean new prices will first be announced for fuel and other energy carriers, then money will be accessible to the people, said IINS. On Dec. 18, 2010, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced the launch of his economic reform plan which aimed at cutting government subsidies on key consumer goods, including gasoline, natural gas, electricity and some food items. Repeatedly calling the plan as \"successful\", Ahmadinejad has said all subsidies would be gradually removed during a five-year period. However, the specter of high inflation has been worrying Iranians, as the increase in the monthly cash payments or in the salaries cannot catch up with the price hike. With tensions escalating over Iran\'s nuclear issue and increasing pressure being placed on the Islamic republic, ordinary Iranians are also suffering from the Western-imposed sanctions and struggling to pay rising living costs.