Tehran threatens to ban, confiscate iPhones unless Apple officially registers in Iran

“In an ultimatum, Iranian officials asked iPhone manufacturer Apple Inc. to either officially register in Iran or have its products banned, a local news agency reported Monday,” Kyodo News reports.

“‘If Apple will not register an official representative in Iran within the next few days, all iPhones will be collected from the market,’ Tasnim News Agency quoted the director of Iran’s anti-smuggling office as having said on Sunday,” Kyodo News reports. “More than 40 million Iranians are using smart phones, including millions of iPhone users, whose devices are often imported into the country by smugglers.”

“For anti-smuggling purposes Iran has started a project, running under the president’s office, to ban smuggled mobile phones,” Kyodo News reports. “The scheme, which will start later this week, will require all mobile phones to be registered with Iran’s telecommunications user database. Any that are not will not be able to be used.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good luck confiscating millions upon millions of iPhones, especially those used by smugglers, who are, of course, already criminals by definition and are therefore quite unlikely to willingly volunteer their iPhones for confiscation.


  1. In a country like Iran, where the state tries to control pretty much everything, It’s hard to see how a cellphone can be used other than through an official network ( although of course WIFi would could still be used as an alternative ). Therefore if they insist that all smartphones must be registered onto a database, then most users will probably have to comply.

    It’s hard to know how Apple should respond. I would guess that Apple has no official dealerships in Iran and therefore distribution is entirely in the hands of third parries anyway and it would be difficult for Apple to be in any way involved with those iPhones that reach Iranian users by unofficial means.

    1. What Tehran talks about is not confiscating iPhones, but about banning its sales that are carried out now without proper import procedure, without Apple itself.

      Iran wants to speed up Apple entering the market officially, and it is perfectly rational thing to do. Though, in their manner, they do it in a manner that is not mild at all.

  2. “If Apple will not register an official representative in Iran within the next few days, all iPhones will be collected from the market,” Tasnim News Agency quoted the director of Iran’s anti-smuggling office as having said on Sunday.

    That’s going to be fun to see a bunch of Iranians come over and take Donald Trump’s iPhone. I betcha he’ll cry just like a real human being.

    1. I certainly know what it’s like to live in the free and civilized world. No torture, no sensationalized violence, politicians elected in a timely manner (like way way less than a year), justice provided to citizens, no war mongering, an optimistic outlook and a loving united people.

      Yes things are that good in the free and civilized world as they should be when you have morals and ethics.

    2. So well put TomInTulsa. But I think of it as a comparison point where we wake up and realize how much we have to use in the USA. The UK and much of the EU for that matter. It’s not about putting up with idiots, louts and crooks because it could be worse. It’s about kicking the idiots, louts and crooks because they’re drawing us closer to totalitarian FAIL and insanity. My POV anyway.

  3. Did they really said “..within the next few days”? wow, that is so precise. And what are they going to do? to ban “a few phones”? and what will be the punish? something bad?
    Besides that, if there are millions of smartphones, are they only threatening apple or apple is the only smartphone in there?

  4. A crappy third rate run country like Iran should be forced to use crappy third rate products like Android. No way any premium products should be allowed into that country. Frankly it’s surprising for all the religious zealotry there they aren’t living back in the Stone Age, per their religion’s seeming usual requirements. Technology should be an anathema. They should be living like Middle East Amish if they want to be true to their school. Therefore no smart phones required.

  5. PLEASE Iran! Confiscate iPhones so that you’re left with mobile phones running the most dangerous, insecure OS currently available: Android. The rest of the world will LOVE you for it and surveil the hell out of your country in thanks.

    1. OR of course, this could all be a ruse for the purpose of Iran’s government being able to surveil the hell out of its own citizens, aka totalitarian abuse. – – Come to think of it, that fits the bill.

  6. If Apple is legitimately selling phones in Iran, then what’s the big deal about registering the phones?
    It’s not like Apple is giving them a backdoor to get past passwords.
    Their country, their laws.

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