Even Kentucky Fried Chicken poses a threat to Iran’s culture, the Islamic Republic’s police said, and shut down a newly opened KFC branch in Tehran.

The first Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fast-food restaurant to open its doors in the Islamic Republic was shut down by police just one day after opening its doors because the interior decorating was too reminiscent of the American flag, reported earlier this month.

The restaurant, KFC Halal [Muslim ritual slaughtering], opened its first branch in west Tehran at the beginning of November after supposedly obtaining the proper permits from the country’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Mines.

KFC Iran’s website showed happy customers lining up for fried chicken. However, the experience was short-lived.

Iranian police shut the restaurant down after only 24 hours of operation. A sign posted on its door read it was “closed until further notice.”

The reason given for the prompt closure: its décor resembled the US flag too closely, and its presence “can be seen as a part of American influence into Iranian culture,” the Iranian Tasnim agency reported. “The US is one of Iran’s major enemies and this will have grave dangers for the country,” the agency stressed.

“The shutting down of Halal KFC was due to a misunderstanding,” the store’s manager, Abbas Pazuki, reportedly said. “We are part of a brand known as Halal KFC, which comes from Turkey. It belongs to Muslims and its target market is Muslim nations,” he clarified. KFC Halal, he said, is a “rival of the American KFC.”

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

KFC confirmed that KFC Halal Tehran was not an official branch when it stated for Mashable that it was ”shocked with the news that an illegitimate KFC outlet has opened in Tehran.”

Laurie Schalow, a KFC spokesperson told the website that “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.”

Despite the nuclear accord signed between Iran and the US-led world powers in July, Tehran’s leaders have stated time and again they would not seek a broader thawing of relations with the West.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has repeatedly warned against the “enemy,” the US, and its plot to “weaken religious and political beliefs” in Iran, and has vowed to block it.

By: United with Israel Staff

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