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Samsung condemns 'anti-Iran' ad featuring its tablet

Galaxy tablet computer, by Samsung (AFP/File, Josep Lago)

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics on Saturday condemned an Israeli commercial featuring a Samsung tablet, expressing dismay at Iran's threat to ban its products over the apparently anti-Tehran teaser.

The South Korean electronics giant said it had not been involved in production of the TV spot, produced by Israeli cable TV channel HOT.

HOT offered Galaxy tabs as gifts to attract new viewers and the advert was part of the station's subscription campaign, Samsung said.

"We have absolutely nothing to do with this television spot," a Samsung Electronics spokesman told AFP.

The commercial was produced by HOT "without Samsung's knowledge or participation," the company said in a statement.

"It should be noted that HOT cable network utilized a GALAXY Tab in its advertisement solely as a promotional gift," Samsung said.

"As a member of the global community, Samsung is committed to demonstrating respect for all people and cultures around the globe," it added.

A senior Iranian lawmaker has said Iran's Majlis Energy Committee was considering a plan to impose a ban on Samsung products over the teaser.

The commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hoHrLL-tVw&list) features Israeli Mossad agents in a rendezvous at a cafe near what appears to be an Iranian nuclear facility.

One of the agents, passing time at a table fiddling with a Samsung tablet and showing off its features to his comrades, inadvertently pushes a button on the device, setting off an explosion at the nuclear plant

"What? Another mysterious explosion in Iran," a comment follows.

Arsalan Fat'hipour, who heads the Majlis Energy Committee, said the commercial was insulting and that Iran's parliament was considering a ban on Samsung products.

He told Iran's Press TV that it depicted Iran as a "primitive society" and suggested Israel was "powerful enough to easily destroy Iran's nuclear facilities or assassinate the country's nuclear scientists."

The episode comes as Seoul is under pressure from Washington to join US-led sanctions on Iranian oil over Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons program. South Korea imports nearly 10 percent of its crude from Iran.

In December, Seoul added more than 100 names to a financial blacklist of Iranian firms and individuals but it did not announce a ban on imports of petrochemicals or crude oil.

 

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