Iran Enraged over Samsung Olympic Snub

Friday, 9 February, 2018 - 10:30
Asharq Al-Awsat

Iran said Friday that its athletes had refused to accept special Samsung mobile telephones issued for the Winter Olympics in South Korea until they received an apology for initially being refused them.

Games organizers had refused on Wednesday to give athletes from Iran and North Korea the Galaxy Note 8 devices from sponsor Samsung, loaded with essential logistical and competition information, due to international sanctions.

Although they backtracked the following day, the incident caused a storm in Iran.

"Our athletes refused to accept the mobiles and handed in a letter of protest to the Olympic Committee and are awaiting the official and written response," Hassan Taherian, Iran's ambassador to South Korea, told the official IRNA news agency.

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

Shahrokh Shahnazi, secretary general of Iran's National Olympic Committee, told the agency: "The Samsung company and anyone involved in disrespecting Iranian athletes participating in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics must apologize to Iran's team.”

IRNA reported Thursday that "an informed source" had said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif would stop using his Samsung mobile if there was no apology.

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