TEHRAN: A hard-line political watchdog has ordered that a contract with Turkish telecoms company Turkcell for Iran's second mobile telephone network must undergo more changes, a report said Sunday. According to the student news agency ISNA, the Council of Guardians is not convinced that new security provisions in the contract decided on by the conservative-held Parliament did not go far enough in protecting Iranian interests.
The decision was made while the council - which screens all laws - examined legislation that reduced Turkcell's stake in the operation from 70 percent to a minority 49 percent.
"We need to make some corrections in the presence of a Council of Guardians representative," Ramezanali Sadegh-zadeh, an MP who heads the parliament's telecommunications commission, told ISNA.
Turkcell was awarded the contract in February 2004 subject to the payment of a $366-million license fee, but Parliament moved to revise the deal.
Deputies said having telecommunications provision in the hands of a foreign company was a danger to national security.
The problems surrounding the contract have stalled the development of a badly needed second mobile network, and has also hit relations with Turkey.
Iran's reformist government has accused MPs of being bad for foreign investment. It also remains uncertain whether Turkcell will accept the revisions to the contract. -