"We are in the process" of launching a television station dubbed Hawa (wind in Arabic) in Iraq, a company executive told AFP on Wednesday, saying the deal has not yet been finalised. 

The executive said Orascom had obtained an "agreement in
principle" from the US-appointed interim Governing Council of Iraq to set up a network. 

Orascom Telecom, led by Egyptian business tycoon Naguib Sawires, won a licence in October to set up a mobile telephone network in central Iraq that is expected to be operational at the end of January. 

The company is hoping to emerge as the top mobile telephone provider in the Middle East and Africa.

Orascom has been short-listed in Iran and is bidding for a contract in Saudi Arabia, according to the official.