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Iran’s Ilna and Mehr news agencies are reporting that in recent days oranges imported from Israel have been distributed and sold in several Iranian cities including in Tehran and Karaj.

The semi-official Mehr news agency reports that the “Israeli“ oranges have stickers with the sign “jaffa sweetie Israel-po." According to Mehr’s report the oranges produced by “the Zionist regime” were distributed in boxes from China (photos here).

Iran has imposed investment and trade sanctions on Israel and Ahmadinejad frequently attacks Israel and its right to exist.

In an interview with Mehr, the head of the fruit and vegetable distribution organization in Tehran has called the incident worrying and said the "violators" should be dealt with.

He added that his organization will follow the issue closely and will not allow those who want to make a profit ignore “Tehran’s citizens' religious and revolutionary learning.”

What would make the oranges story that bit juicier is the possibility that Ahmadinejad is responsible. A pro-reform news website “salaamnews” is reporting that the “Israeli” oranges were distributed for free in Islamshahr during a visit by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

In the past, Ahmadinejad has been accused of distributing free potatoes to gain people’s vote ahead of the June presidential election.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

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