Iran vows legal measures against Apple over apps bans

Apple Is Pulling Apps By Iranian Developers From The App Store To Comply With US Sanctions

Apple is aggressively shutting down Iranian-based apps, reportedly citing adherence to USA sanctions against the country.

Because American sanctions already prevent Apple from selling hardware or distributing software in the Persian republic, developers have distributed their apps through official App stores operated in other countries.

"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", reads a message Apple sent to app developers.

Iran is home to a vibrant developer market, which has given rise to apps like Snapp, an Uber-like, ride-hailing service that has "revolutionized the taxi industry", said Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, professor of economics at Virginia Tech and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The sale of iPhones is officially banned in Iran, although millions are smuggled into the country. "Imagine if in the USA you wouldn't be able to get Uber on your phone". Google hasn't begun to take down Iranian apps from its Play store. That followed the removal in recent weeks of apps for food delivery, shopping and other services. "If the existing restrictions shift, we encourage you to resubmit your app for inclusion on the App Store".

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The U.S. has levied a host of sanctions against Iran due to its nuclear weapons program.

Iran blocks several major social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The Trump administration has modified the overall sanctions, and President Trump signed a new sanctions bill into law this month. "What is the point when people can't download your app?"

"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". Today, respecting the rights of consumers is a principle which Apple has violated.

In response to Apple's action, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Iran's telecommunications minister, tweeted, "11 percent of the cell-phone market in Iran belongs to Apple". We will follow up the cutting of the apps legally.

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