March 22, 2018

Anyone 'disrespecting' Iranian athletes must apologise, Iran tells Olympic Committee

10 February 2018, 08:46 | Kevin Scott

Iran Summons South Korean Envoy over Smartphone Ban for Iranian Athletes

Iranian athletes to receive Olympic mobile phones

Although the game organisers backtracked, reports of the incident caused a storm in Iran where Samsung has a major presence. The move, however, may backfire on Samsung, Iranian sports commentator Mostafa Shoughi has told Sputnik.

News reports said 4,000 of the phones were being given to athletes attending the Pyeongchang Games, but that athletes from Iran and North Korea would be excluded because of worldwide sanctions against the two countries.

Iran summoned South Korean ambassador on Thursday over the "immoral" decision to exclude Iranian athletes from receiving Samsung's special gift under the pretext of global sanctions on Tehran.

Iran's foreign ministry summoned South Korea's ambassador Kim Seung-ho to lodge a "strong protest" over what it called Samsung's "dishonest conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the Olympic Games".

Following "the insulting move" by South Korea's Samsung and its negative political and social effects at the worldwide level, the director of the company in Iran should be summoned and explain about the issue, Montazeri said in an order released on Friday.

Samsung billboards and flagship stores are seen all over Iran , and the South Korean company has sponsored many large-scale cultural events, including the current exhibition at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

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If Samsung Electronics does not withdraw from its decision until Thursday afternoon, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif will not use Samsung any more as he has it now as his cell phone, the source told Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Irna reported that Telecoms Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi was looking into the issue, and was considering whether to block imports of Samsung phones.

Anchor: Iran has protested the International Olympic Committee's moves regarding Samsung smartphones and Iranian Olympic Athletes.

But athletes from Iran and North Korea were reportedly excluded due to United Nations sanctions against the two countries over their nuclear programmes.

The IOC also said it is ready hold a meeting on Saturday with the Iranian athletes as part of a mollifying gesture.

Giving smartphones to North Korean athletes could violate UN Security Council sanctions banning the supply of luxury goods or electronic devices that can potentially be used for military purposes.

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