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Iran: Free Potatoes Inflamed Electoral Fever

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The Iranian authorities have distributed free potatoes in recent weeks in different cities. Several Iranian politicians have criticized the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s government free potato distribution as an act of the presidential electoral campaign and call it a waste of public money. Iranian officials say that there was an excess of potatoes supply in Iran and the government has only bought and distributed them. The Iranian Tabnak site has published several photos of these potatoes distribution in a university in Isfahan. Several bloggers have offered their opinions on this ‘Potato Gate’.

Nik Ahang, an Iranian leading cartoonist and blogger, has published a cartoon (above) where ‘potatoes say to Ahmadinejad:we support you’.

Mmoeeini, who supports former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavai in the presidential election, considers the free potatoes distribution an attempt by Ahmadinejad to get votes. The blogger writes that the Iranian president pledged four years ago to distribute oil revenue among people and now that presidential election is coming soon, agents of the Ministry of Agriculture have distributed free potatoes without making any noise.

Nemat Sibil says [fa]

طی روزهای اخیر ده ها کامیون سیب زمینی در شهرستان های اطراف تهران توزیع گردیده است.خانواده های ساکن در این مناطق با تحویل گرفتن کیسه های بزرگ سیب زمینی به صورت رایگان که محدودیتی در تعداد آنها وجود نداشت، از توزیع کنندگان تشکر می کردند.به نظر می رسد ارتباطی میان این سیب زمینی ها و سیب زمینی های توزیع شده در شیراز وجود دارد

in recent days, tens of trucks have distributed potatoes in areas around Tehran. It seems there is no limit to get these potatoes and families come with big bags and thank the distributors. It seems that there is a link between these free potatoes and the ones distributed in Shiraz.

Abbas Abdi, a political analyst considers [fa] the free potatoes distribution will only lead to a wastage of them, because people take as much as they wish and then they can not store them. He asks

why did not the government distribute free onions and what are the financial sources spent on this action?

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