A fake Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant in Iran was shuttered within 24 hours of opening on Tuesday, after Iran mistakenly linked the branch to the American franchise.
The Hallal KFC branch in Tehran had apparently passed approval from the Iranian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Mines before opening, and social media showed dozens of eager Iranians lining up outside the door.
However, less than one day later, Tehran shuttered the store, claiming first that it was “too American.”
The store “can be seen as a part of American influence into Iranian culture,” Iranian police stated. “The U.S. is one of Iran’s major enemies and this will have grave dangers for the country.”
Abbas Pazuki, the Hallal KFC’s Tehran branch manager, told the Tasnim news agency Tuesday that the “misunderstanding” remained over branding; the KFC is part of the Hallel KFC franchise in Turkey, which “comes from Turkey. It belongs to Muslims and its target market is Muslim nations.”
Later, police backtracked and said that the KFC was operating without a license.
Meanwhile, representatives of the American KFC stated they were “in shock” at the news.
“No franchise rights have been granted to any party in Iran,” KFC spokesperson Laurie Schalow told Mashable. “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.”