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Iran Summons South Korean Envoy over Smartphone Ban for Iranian Athletes

09 Febrero 2018

Earlier this week on Wednesday, the organizers of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games annoucned that athletes from North Korea and Iran would not receive the special "Olympic edition" Galaxy Note 8 smartphones due to "United Nations sanctions".

For those who already own a Note 8, the big things you're missing out on here are the white backing with matching S-Pen, a nice silver band around the outside, and the Olympic Games branding all over the phone and UI.

In a press release to the Tehran Times, the ambassador said, "The Embassy of the Republic of Korea confirms that the unwise decision yesterday (Feb. 7) did come from neither the Korean government nor the Korean company in question".

Qassemi said the South Korean envoy was notified of Iran's strong protest at such an "immoral behavior that runs counter to the prevailing spirit in the Olympic games" which he said is founded on inclusion of all athletes irrespective of race, color, religion or political issues. Unless, or course, it's a crowd of other Olympians.

The head of the Pyeongchang organising committee, Lee Hee-beom, confirmed he had written to the Iranian team "to apologise for the misunderstanding". It wasn't clear how the IOC would ensure compliance with the request.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has summoned South Korean's ambassador to protest the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organizers' move to exclude Iranian athletes from the list of competitors receiving smartphones because of what they have cited UN sanctions.

It was also widely reported in the Iranian media that Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, was considering changing his own Samsung Galaxy S8 handset for a different model.

Also in a letter signed by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) Deputy Director General Pero Miro, the IOC expressed its "deepest regret for the unfortunate incident concerning the distribution of the phone to the Iranian athletes".

Not everyone was satisfied with this response and many Iranians took to Twitter to vent their anger.

Iran Summons South Korean Envoy over Smartphone Ban for Iranian Athletes