Feb 15, 2020 12:15 UTC
  • Foreign companies leaving Iran due to US banditry will face difficulty returning: Foreign Ministry

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has warned that foreign companies leaving the country due to US sanctions will not be able to return to the country’s market easily.

"Certain foreign companies which have left Iran in recent years and months - submitting to the banditry of the United States – should know that returning to the Iranian market will be much more difficult than entering it,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted on Friday.

“The principals of trade maintain that conserving one’s foothold in a market is harder than entering one,” he said, adding that Iranians will also “not forget friends who stand at their side at times of hardship”.

The spokesperson attached a photo of workers removing a banner of South Korea's tech giant Samsung in Iran.

The tweet comes as Samsung and its fellow South Korean company LG Electronics - for which Iran has been a key market in the West Asia region – reportedly pulled down their last advertisement banners in Iran on Friday.

The two companies had cut their trade relations with Tehran in the past months, submitting to US sanctions imposed on Iran after Washington withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

Both companies enjoyed major home appliances sales in Iran, being popular brands for items such as TV sets, air conditioners, telecommunications equipment and washing machines.

Samsung’s sales also notably covered about half of Iran’s lucrative android phone market, with almost 18 million Iranians having Samsung devices as of February 2018, according to a report published by Iran’s largest app market Café Bazaar.

In November, head of Iran’s home appliances union Morteza Miri said that Samsung and LG’s affiliated companies in Iran - Sam and Gplus respectively - will continue production despite the departure of the South Korean companies.

He said that the two affiliated Iranian companies will continue production with “their own equipment, personnel and production lines” and that they have negotiated to import needed material from Chinese companies.