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The __iter__ method

__iter__(self)

This method is called when an iterator is required for a container. This method should return a new iterator object that can iterate over all the objects in the container. For mappings, it should iterate over the keys of the container, and should also be made available as the method iterkeys().

Iterator objects also need to implement this method; they are required to return themselves. For more information on iterator objects, see “[Iterator Types][1]” in the [Python Library Reference][2].

The membership test operators (in and not in) are normally implemented as an iteration through a sequence. However, container objects can supply the following special method with a more efficient implementation, which also does not require the object be a sequence.