Bootleg KFC in Iranian capital shut down by officials

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  Nov. 4, 2015 at 2:00 PM
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TEHRAN, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- A bootleg KFC opened in the Iranian capital was shut down by officials with some reports citing its U.S.-inspired decor as the reason.

The restaurant, which called itself "Halal KFC" and used the same image of Colonel Sanders that serves as the logo for the U.S. based fast food chain, was shut down after operating for a little more than a single day.

The Tasnim News Agency reported officials were concerned the decor of the eatery resembles the U.S. flag and "can be seen as a part of American influence into Iranian culture."

However, the owner of the restaurant said the Halal KFC was shut down due to a "miscommunication" about the eatery's paperwork.

The owner told Fars news agency his restaurant is not affiliated with the U.S. chain, which is operated by Yum! Brands.

"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 said.

Ali Fazli, head of the Trade Chamber of Iran, told the Iranian News Labor Agency the Halal KFC is not connected to the U.S. KFC chain.

"No Western fast food has any branches in Iran," he said.

KFC said it is investigating the bootleg location.

"The outlet in Tehran is illegitimate and we are in contact with local authorities and external advisers on resolving the situation," a company spokesman told NBC News.

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