Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Science | By Hubert Green

Prosecutor General Orders to Summon Samsung Officials in Iran over Gift Ban

Prosecutor General Orders to Summon Samsung Officials in Iran over Gift Ban

North Korean and Iranian athletes at the Winter Olympics will not receive high-end smartphones being handed out to their fellow competitors because of United Nations sanctions, organisers said on Wednesday.

Earlier, Iran had warned Samsung of "repercussions" after the snub.

Earlier, it was reported that Samsung Electronics, which is one of the sponsors of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, is expected to offer at least 4,000 Galaxy Note 8 Olympic Edition phones to all athletes and International Olympic Committee officials, excluding 22 North Korean and four Iranian athletes.

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 apologise to Iran's team, and the Islamic republic of Iran will not compromise on this issue".

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.

After the apology on Friday, Iranian Sports Minister Masoud Soltanifar indicated that Iran was satisfied.

Tehran has reprimanded Samsung Electronics, one of the sponsors of the 2018 Winter Olympics, for refusing to hand its new smartphones to Iranian athletes, allegedly due to sanctions slapped on the Islamic Republic.

Although the game organisers backtracked, reports of the incident caused a storm in Iran where Samsung has a major presence.

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. No reason was given, but Internet access is strictly limited in the North.

The IOC stepped in late on Thursday to say athletes from both countries would receive the phones, but that the North Koreans would be asked not to take the devices home.

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

The order came as Samsung, in a statement on Friday, rejected its involvement in the process to ban Iranian athletes from receiving its smartphones, saying that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is responsible.

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