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Monday, February 9, 2009

Ahmadinejad on the defensive: $1 billion in Iran's oil money goes missing

NICOSIA — The government of Iran has concealed $1 billion in surplus oil revenue according to a finding that challenges the administration of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.   

The Iranian National Audit Office said more than $1 billion in surplus oil income failed to be deposited in the state treasury.

The assertion, which could open the Iranian government to legal proceedings, concerned the oil revenue in the 2006-07 budget year, Middle East Newsline reported.

"In the energy section of this report it has been mentioned that $1 billion of extra oil income has not been returned to the country's public treasury," Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani said.

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"The National Audit Office should seriously follow up the cases where there have been deviations from the implementation of the law or non-implementation of the law."

Larijani has called for an investigation into the findings of the audit.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, running for reelection in June 2009, has denied that his government misappropriated funds.

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