Apple, citing U.S. sanctions, removes popular iPhone apps in Iran

“Officially, Apple has no presence in Iran. Because of American sanctions against the country, the company’s iPhones are not legally available for sale here, and Apple does not offer a version of its App Store in the country,” Thomas Erdbrink And Vindu Goel report for The New York Times. “That has not stopped Iranians from snapping up millions of iPhones smuggled in from places like Dubai and Hong Kong. Nor has it kept Iranian app developers from creating thousands of apps for local users and offering them through App Stores outside Iran.”

“Now, Apple is moving aggressively to shut down Iranian apps,” Erdbrink and Goel report. “On Thursday, Apple removed Snapp, a ride-hailing app similar to Uber that is popular in Iran, from its app stores. That followed the removal in recent weeks of apps for food delivery, shopping and other services.”

“In a message to Iranian developers whose apps were affected by the ban, Apple said, ‘Under the U.S. sanctions regulations, the App Store cannot host, distribute or do business with apps or developers connected to certain U.S. embargoed countries,'” Erdbrink and Goel report. “Apple told Iranian developers in February to remove any payment options in their apps to prevent Iranian money from entering the United States in violation of the sanctions… Iran’s new telecommunications minister, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, complained on Twitter about Apple’s decision to remove the apps and said he was planning to pursue the issue. Mr. Azari Jahromi wrote in Persian that ’11 percent of the cellphone market in Iran belongs to Apple.’ He added: ‘Respecting customer rights is a principle today that Apple hasn’t abided by. We will legally pursue the omission of apps.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Certainly Apple should abide by the current U.S. sanctions.


        1. The fallacy in your argument is whose law did they follow? They were following Chinese law in the China case, in the case with Iran, they are following US law.

          That’s the difference.

            1. ““In an impassioned plea, Mr Cook, boss of the world’s largest company, says that the epidemic of false reports ‘is a big problem in a lot of the world’ and necessitates A CRACKDOWN BY THE AUTHORITIES and technology firms.” [caps mine]

              “‘It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public,’ said Mr Cook.

              That statement should terrify any defender of the First Amendment. It is tyranny, pure and simple.

              Apple CEO Cook: ‘Fake news’ is ‘killing people’s minds’

        2. Philosophically, botty just revealed that he is incapable of dealing with international issues. In botty’s eyes, the laws and morality of the U.S. supersede all others. Botty approves of the wholesale removal of a plethora of apps associated with a foreign country because they violate economic sanctions. But, just a few days ago, he lambasted Tim Cook for removing some VPN apps from the China App Store because they were “unlicensed” and violated Chinese law. The inconsistency in the logic of botty’s viewpoint is laughable and pitiful, since it is shared by far too many U.S. citizens who believe, in the very least, of American primacy in the world in all things.

          Let me be clear, I do not support the Chinese government or its actions. There are quite a few countries who fall short of my standards in terms of supporting human rights and freedoms. But we cannot pick and choose our way through national and international laws simply because we are America.

          1. Melvin, Apple is an American corporation, its CEO and board are American citizens, as such, they are bound by American law. Cook acquiesced to the Communist Chinese for one reason only: subservience to cheap Chinese labor. Cook has no principles, absolutely no moral high ground to pontificate to anyone. He is a globalist, a charlatan and worst of all: a beancounter.

        3. So a global company only has to follow the law in their own country? Now I get it. About what.

          “A distinction without a difference” is a type of logical fallacy where an author or speaker attempts to describe a distinction between two things where no discernible difference exists. It is particularly used when a word or phrase has connotations associated with it that one party to an argument prefers to avoid.

  1. Surely there is another way for Iran to distribute it’s apps. They could make their own portal or simply obtain the app directly from the developer. I don’t see this as a big issue. Then again…

  2. According to the Iranian official, Apple owns 11% of the mobile phone market in Iran. So out of the remaining 89%, google android would have bulk of of the share. What is Google doing about their apps (and business) in terms of American sanction against Iran??

  3. I do not believe in the legitimacy of US sanctions on Iran. I ran started no wars. It invaded no countries. It is developing nukes to deter US aggression. Shiites are no threat to the West, Suni are in the form of Saudi Arabia’s promotion of madrassas worldwide. ISIS is Suni.

    The reason your US instituted sanctions against Iran is to help Israel’s economic and political expansionism which incites neighboring states to hate Israel even more, thus giving the US pretext to remain in the ME to compete for that one of the two oil pipelines. Taken together, it provides the US and some of the other major players with a continual economic growth apportunity. Proof is that defense is the giggest and fastest growth sector in the US economy.

    The US also is chagrinned that Iran does not toe the US line in its domineering economic colonialism which gets translaed in US media as a “threat to US interests.”

    Let’s review: Iran is not a threat. Therefore the sancions are unjustified and Apple has the fiduciary responsibility to not deny Iran Apple products.

      1. Iran’s institutional memory does not allow it to forget that economic and military colonialist installed the US satrap, Shah Reza Pahlavi, as the brutalizing cezar of Iran to do the US’s bidding. It does everything it can to thwart being victimized by the US again. Shiites got a bad rap by the National Security Police State Apparatus because Iranians reclaimed their own oil industry and kicked out the Shah. But Iranis no threat the US at all. And I think that sanctions are unreasonable and, in likely fact, point to an eventual war with Iran and with its friend, Russia. I completely disagree with this US policy. I want the US to work with Russia who is not the US’s natural enemy, and make reproachment with Iran; It’s the right thing to do. Then Pipeline can sell way more phone and apps to its citizens.

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