A KFC-branded restaurant selling fried chicken in Western Tehran has been shut down just after a couple of days in business.

A KFC Halal in Iran has been closed down in under two days

A KFC Halal in Iran has been closed down in under two days Image by Sobhan Hassanvand

KFC Halal had opened on Sunday night and showed queues of happy people waiting for their fried chicken on its Instagram and Twitter accounts. The American fried chicken shop was hailed by the Iranian news agency  Tasnim as “the first American branch” to have arrived in Iran over a period that’s seen a thawing of diplomatic relations between the US and Iran. Somehow the American branch had gotten approval and been accepted by the country’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Mines.

But by Tuesday Iranian police had to shut down KFC Halal. A sign left  by Iranian police on the door of the shop read “closed until further notice”. According to Tasnim, the reason given for closing down the shop was that its decor was too similar to the American flag and that the fact of its opening could seem “part of American influence into Iranian culture”.

KFC has declined to comment and it’s unclear whether KFC Halal is affiliated with it. It has the correct branding and Colonel Sanders mascot, but the Turkish branch of KFC that was thought to be dealing with KFC Halal says it had no dealings with its supposed Iranian counterpart.