Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 8
Iran summoned South Korean ambassador to foreign ministry over decision to exclude Iranian athletes from Samsung's welcoming pack for athletes in 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
The official website of Iran's foreign ministry quoted Bahram Qassemi, the ministry spokesman, as saying the move can strongly impact Iran’s economic ties with the South Korean company.
In a meeting with Kim Seung-ho, the South Korean diplomat, Iranian side announced its serious protest against Samsung’s “immoral” move, which is against the Olympic spirit, Qassemi said.
It was emphasized that if Samsung does not offer an apology over its unwise measure, Iran's trade relations with Samsung will be strongly affected, the Iranian diplomat added.
The Games sponsor Samsung Electronics has donated 4,000 "Olympic edition" handsets of its flagship device Galaxy Note 8 to be distributed among athletes and IOC officials free of charge.
But the event organizers have announced that the North Korean and Iranian athletes at the Winter Olympics will not receive high-end smartphones because of existing UN sanctions.
According to Qassemi, South Korean ambassador expressed deep regret over the issue, saying that the South Korean officials as well as Samsung have no role in the issue.
Head of National Olympic Committee of Iran Shahrokh Shahnazi has asked the International Olympic Committee to properly react to the measure.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA quoted Shahnazi as saying Samsung's measure was a clear violation of the spirit of the Olympics and was also against the Olympic Charter.
South Korea Winter Olympics will start in the northeastern city of Pyeongchang on Feb. 9.