Irancell consortium was formally registered following conclusion of a draft operation license by foreign and Iranian partners.

Coordinator of Turkcell, the foreign partner to the agreement for establishment of Iran’s second mobile phone operator, Irfan Onver told reporters on Monday that the Iranian and foreign partners separately signed the draft contract after several rounds of negotiations with the Iranian shareholders of Irancell consortium on Sunday.

The Iranian shareholders of the second mobile phone operator project are Mostazafan and Janbazan Foundation (MJF) and SAIran company affiliated to Defense Ministry.

Turkcell was initially awarded the contract in February 2004, in a landmark deal to provide a mobile phone service to some 11 million users over the next three years, subject to the payment of a 300-million-euro license fee.

But the agreement suffered a serious setback last year when Iranian parliament objected to giving a foreign firm a majority stake in the venture.

The Turkish firm’s stake was then cut from 70 to 49 percent, a move MPs said was necessary to protect the Islamic Republic’s national security because otherwise the network could be used for espionage or influenced by foreign power.

The 21 percent cut in the share of Turkcell will be deposited in Bank Melli of Iran for three years and then will be sold to the public through stock exchanges.

At one point Turkcell reportedly threatened to withdraw from the deal, and last month it demanded more guarantees that its stake in the venture would be protected.

Onver said his company had sent the text they signed to Iran’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and it would pay its due share of the project until the November 21 deadline set by the ministry.

He said that after payment of the share on the due date, no other case will be left untouched for implementation of the second mobile phone network project under the Majlis approvals and terms of the tender and the license to begin operation will be given to Irancell by Ministry of Communications.

He added that Turkcell has no difference of opinion with its Iranian partners in most cases related to the regulations concerning the project.

Onver said Turkcell had over the past three months consulted with its legal experts and consultants and last Friday it concluded that it should accept the 49 percent stake offered to it. He said the company would try to solve the remaining disputes with the Iranian partners based on the tender regulations and principles.

Source » payvand