Iran examines missing oil revenue

Feb. 16, 2009 at 11:16 AM
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TEHRAN, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Members of the Iranian Parliament raised objections to a $1 billion shortfall from the government in terms of oil revenue, officials said.

Iran has operated a budget surplus since 2006 as oil prices soared over $100 per barrel. Iranian law stipulates that any surplus income from oil sales must be transferred to either the Treasury Department or to foreign reserves.

A review of oil revenues from the 2006-07 budget by the National Audit Office for the Iranian Parliament found a surplus of nearly $1.1 billion was not handed over to Treasury, Iran's Press TV reported.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in January, however, his government had not failed to meet its obligations regarding oil income.

"No one in the country has the right to illegally spend even one dollar from the reserve," he said. "All government spending should be approved by Parliament. We cannot withdraw from the reserves whenever we want."

Lawmakers also found the government had purchased quantities of petrol and fuel oil in the current Iranian year without the consent of the Parliament.

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