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Sunday, 20 May, 2001, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
Power blackout hits Iran
Tehran street
Public transport came to a standstill in Tehran
A major power blackout has caused chaos in towns and cities across Iran.

Electric buses came to a halt in the capital Tehran, and passengers were left stranded in the underground railway.

The blackout - lasting several hours - also hit the cities of Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz, Kermanshah, Qazvin and Hamedan.

A spokesman for the Energy Ministry, Akbar Nematollahi, said the cause of the power failure was not yet known, but it could have been a result of power lines snapping in the very hot weather.

Power was restored after several hours to parts of the capital, but many other areas were still without electricity.

A senior official at the state power company Tavanir blamed the outage on breaks in high-voltage power lines.

The power cut coincided with a conference of major gas-producing countries in Tehran.

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04 May 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Iran
12 Mar 01 | Middle East
Russia backs Iran nuclear programme
09 Mar 01 | Middle East
Iran prospects for Caspian oil
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