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Iran reportedly seeking to create alternatives to Google, Gmail

An Iranian official says Tehran plans to create its own search engine and e-mail service to replace Google and its Gmail e-mail service, even as it weights lifting a ban on Gmail enacted in response to an anti-Islam film.

Sunday reports by Iranian newspapers including the independent Aftab daily quote Deputy Telecommunications Minister Ali Hakim Javadi as saying he hoped to launch the Fakhr search engine and Fajr e-mail in the near future.

Hakim Javadi said authorities are discussing lifting the ban on Gmail imposed by an Iranian court in response to the posting of the film on YouTube, which is owned by Google.

Google's search engine service is still available.

Tehran has long promised to launch its own "clean" and "national" version of the Internet to curb Western influence.