Excited fast food lovers lined up outside KFC Halal in Tehran, Iran, as the fast food restaurant opened its doors to public on Sunday night.
However, they were left disappointed, as the outlet was shut down only one day after it came into operation. Although Iran's Ministry of Industry, Trade and Mines previously gave permission, police shut down the KFC, claiming, according to reports, that its décor greatly resembles the U.S. flag and can be viewed as American influence on Iranian culture.
The Iranian police are now claiming that the restaurant was shut down because it was operating under a false license. But Abbas Pazuki, the manager of Halal KFC, is trying to explain matters as he says that the Iranian authorities confused KFC with KFC Halal, which is a Turkish brand and is a rival to the American food chain.
A KFC spokesperson, Laurie Schalow, while speaking to Mashable said: "We are shocked with the news that an illegitimate KFC outlet has opened in Tehran, Iran. No franchise rights have been granted to any party in Iran. We are in contact with local authorities and external advisers and will be filing a legal action against any company or individuals claiming to have rights to open KFC."
To clarify things, Ali Fazli, Head of the Trade Chamber of Iran says that the KFC restaurant had "nothing to do" with its American namesake. "No Western fast food has any branches in Iran," he said.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, has called the existence of such restaurants in Iran a red line that should not be crossed.