Iran strips Zain of mobile license: Report

Kuwaiti Mobile Telecommunications Co. (Zain) has reportedly landed in trouble in Iran as the government says the company failed to "fulfill its obligations".

Poul newspaper quoted Iranian Telecommunication Minister Mohammad Soleimani as saying that another tender would be held to find a new partner for the development of the much-delayed project. The report gave no further details.

In May, Iran replaced Zain with the Emirati Telecommunications Corp., Etisalat, which had won the tender in January, after the UAE operator failed "to give necessary guarantees and license fees on time".

Zain, a consortium of two Iranian companies and Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co., was the runner-up in the original bidding for the mobile license in December last year, which saw the concession awarded to Etisalat for $399 million.

The current telecom operators in Iran are the state-owned Iran Telecommunication Company (TCI) and Irancell, which is 49 percent owned by South Africa's MTN Group.