Apple removes apps from Iran following USA sanctions
Aug 26, 2017, 01:18
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has removed some popular apps designed by Iranian developers, citing us sanctions, according to The Verge. However, millions of iPhones are smuggled in to the country and developers use other countries' App Store to create and share apps.
Until now, the search giant hasn't taken any action on the Iranian apps available in the Play Store.
Apple's stance on Iranian apps follows another recent crackdown in China on virtual private network (VPN) apps that were being openly marketed on the Chinese iOS App Store.
Certain shopping and food delivery apps were removed in the previous weeks.
The apps which initially were removed were Delion (food delivery service), DigiKala (retailer), AloPeyk (parcel delivery service), Takhfifan (group buying website), and Alibaba (online travel agency).
In a message to Iranian developers whose apps were affected by the ban, Apple said, "Under the US sanctions regulations, the App Store can not host, distribute or do business with apps or developers connected to certain USA embargoed countries".
An Apple spokesman, Tom Neumayr, confirmed the message's authenticity.
"We work so hard, and have to fight all the time, and now this", he said in an interview. "No one with an iPhone can download any of the popular apps any more. Imagine if in the United States, you wouldn't be able to get Uber on your phone". Facebook and YouTube are blocked by the Iranian government as well.
The spokesperson declined to speak specifically on the apps referenced, but did note the company has made free apps and games that available on its Google Play app store in the country in compliance with US sanctions.
The Trump administration signed new sanctions against Iran earlier this month over its missiles program.
"In order to further ensure that the sanctions on Iran do not have an unintended chilling effect on the ability of companies to provide personal communications tools to individuals in that country OFAC is providing illustrative guidance on the scope of the personal communications general license". He has a history of advocating for online freedoms in Iran. His company had started an online campaign to attract more customers, but has chose to halt those efforts for now.
Azari Jahromi wrote in Persian that "11 percent of the cell phone market in Iran belongs to Apple".
"Giving respect to consumer rights is a principle today which Apple has not followed", Jahromi tweeted.
"We will legally sue (the issue of) removing of the apps", Azari-Jahromi said.
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