MTN, the US$32.92 billion African telecom giant, is reportedly in danger of being whacked with sanctions by the United States for its telecommunication activities in Iran and Syria.
South African-based Mail and Guardian newspaper reported that US President Barack Obama issued an executive order last week that allowed American authorities for the first time to impose sanctions on individuals or entities found to have used new technologies, including cellphone tracking and online monitoring, to perpetuate “grave” human rights abuses.
Under the order, the new sanctions included a US visa ban and financial restrictions against Syrian and Iranian agencies and individuals. On the sanctions list is the Syrian general intelligence directorate, the Syriatel Phone Company, and Ali Mamluk, the Director of Syria’s General Intelligence Services.
In Iran, the elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, the intelligence and security ministry, the law enforcement forces and Datak Telecom are on the sanctions list.