South African mobile network MTN is fighting a complaint by families of US soldiers killed in Iraq, alleging that MTN and Chinese vendor ZTE violated the Anti-Terrorism Act by doing business with Iranian companies.
The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of American service members and civilians killed or wounded in Iraq between 2011 and 2016, and their families.
It alleges that telecoms companies indirectly supported the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps by doing business with Iranian companies. MTN is named along with affiliates such as Irancell, in which the operator holds a 49 per cent interest.
The company said: “MTN is reviewing the details of the complaint and is consulting its advisers, but remains of the view that it conducts its business in a responsible and compliant manner in all its territories and so intends to defend its position where necessary.
“MTN Group is committed to continued compliance with all applicable laws and continues to monitor all developments to ensure it acts in accordance with applicable laws”.
A similar complaint was filed against MTN in 2019, alleging the company paid Taliban officials not to attack its mobile phone towers in Afghanistan.