Iranian athletes reject smartphones offer: Envoy

IRNA – Iran’s ambassador to Seoul said that Iranian athletes participating in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics have rejected the offer to receive smartphones.

Mohammad Hossein Taherian told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that Iranian athletes in Pyeongchang have said the International Olympic Committee has announced that they could receive Samsung smartphones that they were denied earlier.

Organisers of the Winter Olympics said Wednesday that athletes from North Korea and Iran would not receive the Olympic-edition of its Galaxy Note 8 due to the ‘existing UN sanctions’. Samsung is one of the main sponsors of the games.

The Iranian athletes have rejected the offer that was without any precondition, he said.

‘They have written a protest letter to the organizing committee, and now they are waiting for its official response,’ he said.

The South Korean news agency, Yonhap, reported that ‘organizers for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics said Friday they have decided to provide free Samsung smartphones to Iranian athletes without the condition of returning them, amid looming anti-Samsung sentiment in Tehran.’

Earlier it had reported that the same condition was set for the North Korean athletes, that was rejected.

Following the controversial move by Samsung, South Korea’s ambassador Kim Seung Ho was summoned to Iran’s Foreign Minsitry.

The ministry warned that the company should apologize, or it will have serious repercussions for trade between the company and Iran.

Iran is one of the big markets of Samsung smartphone.

Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari joined the campaign to boycott Samsung.

He vowed that if the case is not settled officially, he would prevent the registry of Samsung smartphones in Iran.