Iran’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Reza Taghipour, is reportedly pushing for South African group MTN to sell off a 21% stake in the country’s second largest mobile operator, MTN Irancell. According to local website Kabir News, the government official claims the stake sale was included in the terms of Irancell’s concession. MTN, which currently holds a 49% interest in Irancell, disagrees, however; it insists that the agreement to offload 21% via an initial public offer (IPO) only applied to Irancell’s original foreign shareholder, Turkcell of Turkey. In 2005 Turkcell agreed to take a 70% stake in the nascent Irancell operation, with this to be reduced to 49% within three years by way of an IPO. MTN is expecting the 21% stake for the IPO to come proportionally from both its own holding plus that of the other shareholder in Irancell, Iran Electronic Development Company (IEDC); this would reduce MTN’s interest to 38.7% and IEDC’s to 40.3%. Irancell claimed 39.4 million subscribers and around 45% of the Iranian wireless market at the end of September 2012, TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database reports.