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Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has been accused of handing out cash in order to buy votes ahead of the June 12 presidential election.

Earlier this year, the Iranian president was accused of distributing free potatoes and oranges in his provincial trips.

This time around, reports say Ahmadinejad’s government has distributed checks and bank cards worth 500,000 rials and 1,000,000 rials ($50 and $100) to students and teachers around the country.

The government, however, has denied the money is related to the election.

The "Etemad" daily also reports that some students at Tehran University have been angered by the "gifts" and have decided to return them.

A university official told the daily that 5,000 envelopes with bank cards were distributed to female students at one of the dorms. He added that male students were given coupons to buy books.

One student from the Fatemieh dorm told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that some students were angry because the cash was not distributed to all students living at the dorm.

Iran’s former Prime Minister and Ahamdinejad’s main challenger Mir Hossein Musavi has criticized the alleged freebies in the past, saying that people need jobs instead of potatoes and checks.

Likewise, conservative presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai has said that instead of giving people oranges, jobs should be created for Iran's massively unemployed youth.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari/Niusha Boghrati

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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