Place rice in a medium bowl, and add enough water to cover. Pour off water, and repeat process 2 to 3 more times. Add enough cold water to cover. Add salt, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rice, and cook until almost tender, 5 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick stockpot, combine 2 tablespoons water, butter, yogurt, and 1 teaspoon saffron water. Add rice, layering with the cherries, and cherry liquid. Sprinkle with remaining saffron water and the oil. Cover top of stockpot with a thick kitchen towel, and place lid on top. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 30 minutes more. Invert rice onto a large platter. Serve immediately.
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