MTN Group has stated that its exit from the Middle East will be more gradual than imminent, adding that it will withdraw from Iran over the next three to five years.
Local media outlets had reported that MTN Irancell was set to suspend operations immediately, prompting the operator and its parent group to state that services would run “as usual” and that customers would continue “to receive the great service they have come to expect”.
MTN further clarified that it would begin its withdrawal process in Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, stating that it would divest its Middle Eastern units “in an orderly manner over the medium term.”
South Africa headquartered MTN Group holds a 49% stake in MTN Irancell. Last week, the group’s departing CEO Rob Shuter confirmed that it was set to focus on its core African markets, exiting the Middle East in the process.