The Iranian parliament has approved a plan to investigate why the government distributed funds to people prior to the 2009 presidential election, under the pretext of paying interest on Edalat (fairness) shares.

“In reviewing the documents we have noticed that at the start of the presidential election, and without any apparent benefit, the government paid out 80,000 toumans to nine million people,” said MP Ali Akbar Oliya, according to Mehr News Agency.

“The source of these payments is not clear, and it is said that some companies were even forced to pay them out of their budgets, and that in fact it was not interest paid for shares,” the MP added.

Oliya insists that distributing the money appears to have been an attempt to influence voting in the election.

Previously, MP Norollah Heydari had accused Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration of illegally distributing money to people.

This allegation has been loudly raised in recent weeks by several conservative MPs.

Assadollah Badamchian said recently: “As someone who cares for the president and the government and has had extensive experience in parliaments and elections, I warn Mr. President that the government should not interfere in election issues.”

Last week, however, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a live TV interview in which he denied any government involvement in elections matters.

Iran’s conservative elite is intent on excluding Ahmadinejad’s circle of supporters from the next parliamentary election in March 2012.