Press TV – An Iranian telecoms ministry official says the country could enact punitive measures against South Korea’s mobile phone giant Samsung after the company decided to impose restrictions on Iranian users.
“The list of measures against Samsung is ready,” said Mohammad Jafar Na’nakar, who heads the legal department at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), on Tuesday.
Naming some of the measures, Na’nakar said Iran could refuse entry to Samsung executives and staff and even impose a partial ban on the registry of mobile phones produced by the company on the Iranian mobile phone network.
That came after Samsung reportedly sent emails to Iranian users notifying them that they would no longer be able to buy applications on the company’s exclusive platform Galaxy Store.
It also comes days after Samsung’s home appliances division signaled it is to stop a major part of its activity in Iran by having banners and signs of the company removed from shops in Tehran and other cities.
Those moves come as the company has been under huge pressure from the United States to stop its business in Iran.
Na’nakar said that the ICT had urged Samsung to revise its bans on sale of applications to Iranian users on the Galaxy Store.
“The reality is that if this is not reconsidered, there are legal tools on our side that would enable us to counter this measure,” he told the semi-official Mehr news agency.
The official said that Samsung’s planned restrictions on Iranians’ access to Galaxy Store, which is due to be enforced in early March, would create massive difficulties for app developers and businesses inside Iran.
Samsung currently holds more than a half of the Iranian mobile phone market. However, Iranian officials have said that they would consider more cooperation with alternative Chinese companies like Huawei and Xiaomi.
Na’nakar said that a ban on the entry of Samsung staff into Iran would be possible as the ICT was responsible for vetting foreign nationals who want to work across the Iranian communications industry.
He said a partial ban on registry of Samsung phones on the Iranian mobile network was also high on the agenda as a total ban would affect millions of Iranian users who own Samsung phones.