Thoroughly wash rice and soak in water for at least 30 minutes to soften rice.
Fill a large saucepan with at least 6 quarts (12 cups) of water and bring to a boil. Add a large pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add rice to the saucepan and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally. After 4-5 minutes, use a long wooden spoon to scoop a few grains from the water. Use your thumb and index finger to squish grain to check doneness. Rice should be soft with a slight bite, or "al dente". Do not overcook!
Remove from heat and drain in a fine mesh colander; set aside.
FOR THE SAFFRON WATER AND DRIED FRUIT
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add dried cranberries and golden raisins to the skillet and mix. Sprinkle with salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar and continue to sauté until warm. Add pistachios to the skillet and sauté, stirring frequently, for an additional 1-2 minutes, being careful to prevent the nuts from burning. Remove from heat and mix with the rice.
To prepare the saffron water, mix together 1 teaspoon crushed saffron threads with 1/4 cup hot water. Steep for several minutes, or until the water becomes a deep yellow color. Mix the saffron water with the cooked rice and dried fruit.