Iranian news websites reported last week that a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant had opened in Karaj and more outlets were earmarked for Tehran and other major cities.

The Fars new agency broke the story, claiming, “The first branch of KFC opened in Iran with the goal of creating 20,000 jobs”. 

The post has since been removed.

The hard line agency had quoted a man called Amir Hossein Alizadeh, who claimed to be the head of Iranian KFC. He said the restaurant in Karaj was established after obtaining permission “from the mother company”.

He added, however, the franchise was 100 per cent Iranian and not American.

Alizadeh appeared at a press conference with the Colonel Sanders KFC logo, and the signature red colour of the brand on the backdrop.

After an inquiry by the Persian service of the BBC, KFC issued a statement warning it would sue anyone taking advantage of the KFC brand in Iran. The fast food chain added it had no plans to open a restaurant.