Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has ordered the Iranian government to ban the import of South Korean appliances to protect its products, Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency reported on the 30th of last month.
According to Mehr news agency, Khamenei issued a written order to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy through the presidential office on the same day. Iran, which is a theocracy, has a president, but the supreme leader has the decision-making power. Khamenei said in a written statement, “If (Iran) imports home appliances produced by two Korean companies, all domestic electronics companies will go bankrupt.” “This issue needs to be approached seriously.”
Khamenei did not name the company, but the two South Korean companies he mentioned appear to be Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. Recently in Iran, home appliance prices have risen in the wake of economic sanctions, and the two companies that withdrew from Iran after the US sanctions against Iran in 2018 are expected to re-enter the country.
Regarding this prospect, the Iranian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in early last month, “The rumors about the return of Korean companies are fundamentally wrong.” After Korean companies and other global companies withdrew from Iran, the Iranian government started to foster local home appliance brands such as ‘Sam’ and ‘Gplus’. When Korean companies withdrew from Iran in 2018, Iran said, “We do not forget our friends who helped us in difficult times. “It will be very difficult for companies from countries that have left Iran because of US sanctions to re-enter the country,” he warned. South Korea has joined the US sanctions on Iran and is currently freezing about 7 billion dollars (about 8.302 trillion won) of Iranian funds. In 2010, Iran opened won accounts with IBK Industrial Bank of Korea and Woori Bank under the name of the Central Bank of Iran and received crude oil export payments through these accounts.
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