Telecom Lead Middle East: United against Nuclear Iran
(UANI) CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace has slammed MTN for its increasing
investments and expansion in Iran.
He said, At a time when companies everywhere from Europe
to China are abiding by international sanctions and pulling out of Iran, MTN
has shamefully decided to double down and expand its Iran presence. Make no
mistake; MTN is not just a client of the brutal Iranian regime–it is a
partner. MTN holds a 49 percent share of a regime-controlled company, MTN
Irancell, and has carried out orders by the regime to shut off text messaging
and track and silence innocent Iranian citizens.”
The statement further reads that MTN has an entire floor
in its Tehran headquarters that is controlled and utilized by Iranian military
officials to spy on and track Iran’s activists and journalists.
UANI launched its MTN campaign in January, and has run
online and Facebook advertisements highlighting MTN’s work in Iran.
MTN Irancell is the second-largest mobile phone network
operator in Iran, and the majority of its shares are owned by the Iranian
regime, which has exploited MTN’s network and technology to monitor and track
the activities and communications of peaceful dissidents.
Recently, SA’s Democratic Alliance (DA) formally
requested that the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)
investigates cellphone giant MTN for human rights violations in Iran, where the
company is countering a barrage of bribery and corruption charges against it.
This follows a $4.2 billion lawsuit filed by
Istanbul-based operator Turkcell last week, in which it accused MTN of shady
dealings in its 2004 acquisition of a GSM licence that was originally awarded
Iran is MTN’s fastest growing unit, increasing revenue 20
percent in the year to December, accounting for R11 billion of the company’s
full-year revenue of R121.9 billion. It has 34.6 million of MTN’s 164.5 million
subscribers, growing 16.6 percent in the year despite more than 100 percent