S Korean envoy summoned over Samsung phones scandal

MNA – Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned South Korean ambassador to express strong protest over Samsung’s decision to exclude Iranian Winter Olympics attendees from receiving the company’s Olympic-edition smartphones.

The Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games is handing out special “Olympic edition” Galaxy Note 8 smartphones to competitors this year, but athletes from North Korea and Iran won’t receive them due to what the event’s organizers said to be “United Nations sanctions.”

Following that announcement, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned South Korean ambassador Wednesday night to express strong protest over the decision, which spokesperson Bahram Ghasemi described as “unethical” and “contrary to the spirit of Olympic Games” with its celebrated principle of prohibiting any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.

“The South Korean ambassador was informed that if Samsung does not apologize for this unwise move, this issue will severely affect the company’s trade ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Ghasemi said.

The South Korean ambassador, while voicing deep regret over the dilemma, said the issue has been followed up in several contacts with relevant officials at the Korean foreign ministry, the government and Samsung conglomerate, adding “according to the remarks made by government officials and Samsung managers, they, as the sponsor for Winter Olympic Games, had no part in the misunderstanding about the distribution of these products.”