The South African mobile operator group MTN has accused Turkish firm Turkcell of making ‘extortionate demands for damages’ as part of their row over the Iranian operator MTN Irancell. Last month, Turkcell launched lawsuits against MTN accusing it of bribing Iranian and South African government officials in order to secure the licence to become Iran’s second mobile phone operator back in 2005. Turkcell had been stripped of the same licence earlier that year. MTN says that its talks with Turkcell have now broken down, Reuters reports, and the Turkish company is refusing to cooperate with the independent panel, led by UK judge Lord Hoffmann, which MTN has set up. The South African operator, which gets almost 10% of its revenues from Iran, has labelled Turkcell’s legal action as ‘frivolous’.