Reports: Syria to grant mobile licence to Iran

18 January 2017 | James Pearce

Iran is set to be granted a licence to launch mobile services in Syria, according to reports.

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Reuters claims the Syrian government will allow its Iranian counterpart to become a mobile service operator, as the two countries look to expand their economic ties.

Iran has been a major supporter of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad during the five year civil war which has devastated Syria. Reuters claims the two countries have now signed five memorandums of understanding aimed building more ties between them.

The MOU’s were signed at a ceremony, which was attended by Syrian prime minister Imad Khamis and Iranian vice president Eshaq Jahangiri, took place in Tehran on 17 January, according to the reports.

Syria owes Iran around $5.4 billion in debt, according to reports from the region. Reports from The New Arab claim Khamis initially discussed the possibility of Iran setting up a third mobile operator in Syria as part of the debt repayment during a meeting held in August.

Reports in November claimed a consortium of Iranian companies were looking to enter the Syrian market, to compete with MTN Group and locally-owned SyriaTel.