Iran’s Rouhani issues rare apology over major blackouts


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Iran’s Rouhani issues rare apology over major blackouts
Iranian president acknowledges ‘plenty of pain’ caused by power outages; videos show anti-regime chants echoing from darkened high-rises
By Nasser Karimi
6 July 2021

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s outgoing president offered a rare apology Tuesday for the country’s most severe summer power outages in recent memory, as blackouts cripple businesses and darken homes for hours a day. In a government meeting broadcast live on state TV, President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged that chronic power outages over the past week have caused Iranians “plenty of pain” and expressed contrition in an unusually personal speech. “My apologies to dear people who have faced these problems and pain,” he said.

In recent days, the regular blackouts have spread chaos and confusion on the streets of the capital, Tehran, and other cities, knocking out traffic lights, shutting factories, disrupting telecommunications and affecting metro systems. Repeaters — devices around cities that enhance mobile phone signals — have failed, along with electronic cash registers.