Organizers for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics said Friday they have made a decision to provide free Samsung smartphones to Iranian athletes without the condition of returning them, amid looming anti-Samsung sentiment in Tehran.
Then the International Olympic Committee said they would be provided for the Games, but the two countries' representatives would be asked to return them afterwards rather than keep them.
Iran's foreign ministry summoned South Korea's ambassador Kim Seung-ho to lodge a "strong protest" over what it called Samsung's "dishonest conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the Olympic Games".
Pyeongchang Olympic organisers said they had apologised to Iran on Friday after a diplomatic furore over its athletes being denied special Samsung phones issued for the Games.
The apology appeared to have helped defuse a spat in which Iran on Thursday summoned South Korea's ambassador over reports that its athletes would not receive a $1,100 smartphone each.
"Through their apology and admission of their mistake, we have reached our goal and the offense against the Islamic Republic's athletes and ... nation has been rectified", the state news agency IRNA quoted Soltanifar as saying.
This isn't the first time that the North Korean team has missed out on free devices from long-time Olympics sponsor Samsung.
Iran, where Samsung has a strong presence on the high street, has sent four athletes to the Games in Pyeongchang.
North Koreans will still not be getting the smartphones. No reason was given, but Internet access is strictly limited in the North.
"Regarding Iran, we can confirm that all participants will be able to keep the phones", an International Olympic Committee official said.
The isolated nation's squad has been left empty-handed due to United Nations sanctions that ban the sending of luxury items to North Korea or to North Korean nationals, according to an Associated Press report.
The senior judicial official further emphasized that in case the Samsung Electronics Co. pledges to compensate for "the spiritual damage" it has caused to Iran, a date should be determined and announced to the head office of the company.