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Iranians Warned of Y2K Breakdowns

December 1, 1999

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ The government is warning Iranians they could face breakdowns in public services at the end of the year because of the Y2K bug.

``It is expected that with the arrival of the year 2000 some unexpected incidents may happen and some public services may be disrupted,″ Mohammad Sepehri-Rad, head of the Supreme Council for Information Technology, said Tuesday.

Speaking on television, Sepehri-Rad suggested there could be breakdowns in the oil, electricity, communications, transport and health sectors, saying his team had singled out these industries for attention.

Any disruptions in Iran’s petroleum industry are likely to have international repercussions.

Most of Iran’s computer-controlled systems were bought from the United States before the 1979 Islamic revolution. But it has been unable to get U.S. help to modify the computers for the millennium bug because of hostile relations with Washington dating from the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by revolutionary militants in 1979.

The average plane in Iran’s fleet of commercial airliners is about 20 years old. The aircraft are likely to be affected by the Y2K bug. It is not known what steps have been taken to repair the planes.

Sepehri-Rad said his team had accomplished its goal to a large extent and hoped that few problems would be faced.

``However, it should be remembered that no 100 percent guarantees can be given concerning the solution of this problem anywhere,″ he said.

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