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03/12/2007, Iran - "Iran debates DST change" by PRESS TV

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Iran's energy minister said Monday that the Ahmadinejad administration "does not intend to change the country's official clock" in the next Iranian calendar year beginning March 21.

He said however that the final decision will be made by Iran's parliament.

Seyyed Parviz Fattah told reporters in Tehran that the government's stance on the issue is clear and based on results of the latest expert studies.

He said the Energy Ministry experts briefed First Vice President Parviz Davudi last week on the costs and benefits of observing daylight saving time (DST).

Fattah said the country had observed DST for 15 years until March 2006, and that the government's decision last March to stop adjusting its clock provided experts with an opportunity to study whether or not DST effects energy consumption as it was intended.

"Experts came to the conclusion that there is no need to change the official clock next year," he said, adding that many countries with geographical conditions similar to Iran do not adjust their clocks.

DST is the convention of advancing clocks by one hour so that evenings include more hours of daylight while mornings contain fewer hours. Typically, clocks are adjusted forward one hour in late winter or early spring, and are moved one hour back in the autumn.

Governments often promote DST as an energy conservation measure on the grounds that it helps substitute natural summer sunlight for electric lighting.

Iran's parliament (Majlis) said last month that the country's official clock should be adjusted for daylight saving time starting March 21.

According to a report from the Majlis Research Center, 77 countries with a total population of 1.5 billion currently observe DST as an effective energy conservation measure.

"Some 77 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North America, the Caribbean, Australia, the Pacific Ocean and Africa observe DST," the report said, adding that some nations even adjust their clocks 2-3 hours backwards or forwards.

"Many countries have come to the conclusion that they need to adjust their official clocks to DST", the report continued. "Recent studies in Iran also indicate that a one-hour change [in its official clock] would be the best possible option for the country."

The Majlis Research Center said that observing DST would be beneficial for Iran, in that people would sleep one extra hour in the summer time, power consumption would decline and power plants would work fewer hours.

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