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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's parliament is set to summon President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning over an economic scandal and his polices after the required number of lawmakers signed a petition Sunday, the latest salvo in a long battle between the president and his rivals.
Ahmadinejad would be the first president to be hauled before the Iranian parliament, a serious blow to his standing in a the conflict involving the president, lawmakers and Iran's powerful clerics.
At least 73 lawmakers signed the petition to question Ahmadinejad, just above one-quarter of the 290 members required by Iran's constitution to call in a president.
Earlier the parliament found Ahmadinejad's economics minister guilty in relation to a $2.6 billion fraud case, considered the largest in Iran's history.
Definition: Net foreign assets are the sum of foreign assets held by monetary authorities and deposit money banks, less their foreign liabilities. Data are in current local currency.
Source: International Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics and data files.
Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, is due to implement a major economic plan to privatize its oil refineries in line with its privatization scheme.
Managing-Director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) Alireza Zeiqami announced that seven of the country's nine oil refineries will be ceded to the private sector by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2012).
"National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company and its subsidiaries will become privatized. At least 11 companies and refineries will cede their shares to the private sector later this year," he stated.
Zeiqami, who is also deputy oil minister, said that domestic and foreign investors can purchase the shares of the refineries through the Privatization Organization of Iran.
Article 44 of the Iranian Constitution stipulates that the country's economic system shall be based on public, cooperative and private sectors.
All large-scale industries, mother industries, foreign trade, large mines, banking, insurance, power supply, dams and large irrigation channels, radio and television, post, telegraph and telephone, aviation, shipping, roads, rails, refineries and the like are public property and under the guidance of the government.
A 2004 amendment to the Article, however, has set in motion a ten-year plan to privatize eighty percent of Iran's state-owned assets.
Thanks for the info. When I saw the 663 trillion number I was thinking it must be wrong. While looking at your source I saw it states the values are in local currency. So 663 trillion is a reflection using the rial.