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MTN Turkcell investigation looks to ambassador

South Africa’s Foreign Ministry says it is looking into allegations that a former ambassador to Tehran may have accepted payment to help MTN secure a mobile license in Iran.

MTN is facing a challenge in a US court by Turkcell, who alleges that MTN used bribery and promised to support Iran’s nuclear programme, in order to win its operating license in Iran. MTN denies the allegations.

South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said in parliament that the department was investigating allegations against Yusuf Saloojee, who is now ambassador to Oman.

Last month, the South African Hawks police unit said it had opened an investigation into allegations of corruption around MTN’s purchase of the cellular license. The MTN group said it would co-operate fully into any investigation.

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