Iranians drive a Pride car manufactured by Saipa group, right, and a Hyundai SUV, left, in northern Tehran.
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A campaign to boycott "substandard and expensive" Iranian-made cars has fired up social media in the Islamic Republic, where its supporters have been accused of anti-revolutionary treason.Iranians are turning to the Internet to vent long-simmering discontent with a domestic car industry dominated by producers Iran Khodro and Saipa, following years of sanctions that led to the exit of foreign makers.Almost 20,000 people die on Iran's roads each year, and police say faulty cars are partly to blame.Iranian officials argue that domestically produced cars are much cheaper than imported brands, and say the industry has created hundreds of thousands of jobs.Several newspapers also reacted furiously to Nematzadeh's comments, insisting people have the right to choose not to buy Iranian cars.Most Iranian cars are based on foreign models that used to be brought in and assembled before sanctions were introduced.Iran's car production stood at 1.65 million vehicles in 2011 but after European and U.S. sanctions hit there was a dramatic drop, to around 740,000 in 2013 .
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