Iran’s Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has ordered his deputy to summon Samsung officials to protest at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organizers’ move to exclude Iranian athletes from the list of competitors receiving smartphones.
Following “the insulting move” by South Korea’s Samsung and its negative political and social effects at the international level, the director of the company in Iran should be summoned and explain about the issue, Montazeri said in an order released on Friday.
The senior judicial official further emphasized that in case the Samsung Electronics Co. pledges to compensate for “the spiritual damage” it has caused to Iran, a date should be determined and announced to the head office of the company.
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.
Earlier this week, media reports said that about 4,000 of Samsung Galaxy Note 8 were being given to athletes taking part in the Winter Games starting Friday in South Korea, but the athletes from Iran and North Korea would not get the gifts due to sanctions.
The news reports sparked outrage in Iran, prompting the country’s Foreign Ministry to summon the South Korean ambassador to Tehran and demand an apology.
Shortly afterwards, the IOC backed down on the decision to deny gift Samsung smartphones to both Iranian and North Korean athletes.
Iran is a key market for Samsung products in the Middle East, including smartphones and home appliances.