MTN cleared of Iran dealings

Allegations that MTN had bribed Iranian officials to secure an operating licence were "a fabric of lies, distortions and inventions", the probe found.

Turkish operator Turkcell last March filed a $4.2-billion lawsuit in Washington alleging that MTN had bribed Iranian officials and pressed Pretoria to offer weapons and diplomatic support for its nuclear programme.

MTN, which operates in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, owns a 49% stake in the Iranian mobile telecoms company Irancell, which holds the operating licence.

MTN appointed retired British judge Lord Leonard Hoffmann to investigate the accusations.

Turkcell subsidiary East Asian Consortium won an earlier bid to acquire the licence, but this was reversed in 2005.

After a year-long investigation, Hoffmann cleared the company of wrongdoing.

"There was no conspiracy between MTN and Iranian officials to remove Turkcell from the successful consortium," Hoffmann found.

"There was no promise on the part of MTN to get the South African government to supply defense equipment to Iran or to support Iran's nuclear policy at the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]," the probe report added.

The US Supreme Court is expected to rule on the lawsuit in June.

MTN's 34.7 million clients in Iran make up 21% of its total subscriber base. – Sapa-AFP


Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sapa Afp
Guest Author

Related stories

The orchestrators of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen

As the crisis continues to unfold, the biggest threat may be the vested interest in maintaining the civil war Therefore, with no end in sight to the conflict plaguing the nation, the question worth asking is: who benefits from a Yemen at war?

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

Faster, cheaper data is here – but not for long

There are factors such as exchange rates, electricity costs, security free and fuel prices that are contributors, but additional spectrum will certainly bring about significant change in the local industry

South Africa’s digital divide detrimental to the youth

Without the means to leverage lockdown as a time to grow, Covid-19 reinforces how access to data remains a barrier to young people’s progress

Surviving Covid-19 — and Modi

A religious and nationalist agenda has replaced the promise of development and left India ill-equipped to manage the pandemic

Zero-rate mobile services for health, education and development now

Operators must work together — if each network picks which sites to zero-rate, access to information will be determined by the colour of a person’s sim card

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Cambridge Food Jozini: Pandemic or not, the price-gouging continues

The Competition Commission has fined Cambridge Food Jozini for hiking the price of its maize meal during April

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday