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Iran to Start First Phase of Domestic Internet by May, Fars Says

Iran will introduce the first phase of its domestic Internet network by May 21, the state-run Fars news agency reported, citing Iranian Minister of Communication and Information Technology Reza Taghipour.

Taghipour said the launch of the network was a priority of his ministry in the new Iranian year that started on March 20. A local data center, search engine and domestic e-mail service are being completed, Fars cited him as saying, without elaborating on the projects.

Iranian officials had earlier announced plans to set up a national Internet search engine by 2012, which they said will be more suited to the needs of Iranians as it will produce a smaller list of results than others such as Yahoo and Google.

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