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Ahmadinejad rejects oil money report


Press TV - Iran's president criticizes recent reports about a missing $1 billion in oil revenues, saying such actions 'mar' the government's image.

A National Audit Office report issued for parliament (Majlis) has revealed that $1.058 billion of surplus oil revenues in the 2006-2007 budget has not been returned to the treasury.

"The Oil Ministry does not receive a single dollar from oil revenues as the money is directly deposited into the central bank's foreign accounts," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a Tuesday interview with Iran's state television.

The president severely criticized the National Audit Office for what he called its 'carelessness', saying the report 'incites the people' against the government.

President Ahmadinejad's remarks come as lawmakers and economists alike have called for an investigation into the case.

The government also spent $5 billion to import fuel, about $2 billion more than the sum Majlis had authorized.

"A government which is not open to criticism will certainly fall," said Hassan Rohani, a member of the Assembly of Experts, in response to the president's remarks.

"Taking measures without counsel might deliver severe blows to the economy."

Head of the Majlis Energy Commission Hamid-Reza Katouzian said, "The president should stop accusing critics and instead focus on addressing the problems he has been urged to resolve."

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