Apple, citing United States sanctions, removes popular apps in Iran

26 August, 2017, 01:20 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Iranian app

Despite this, the company has been removing a number of popular Iranian apps over the past few weeks, and now, it says us sanctions require it to do so.

Iran doesn't have its own App Store since iPhone sales are banned in the country, but Iranian developers list apps in the Stores of other countries. In previous weeks shopping and food delivery apps have also been removed.

Taghizadeh has also protested the move with a #StopRemovingIranianApps campaign on Twitter, according to The Times. "Imagine if in the USA, you wouldn't be able to get Uber on your phone".

In January, Apple began removing several Iranian apps including DigiKala and Shaparak payment system app which Iranians use to skirt around restrictions banning USA companies from taking payments from Iran.

In 2013, Barack Obama lifted a ban on USA companies selling communication equipment to Iran while remaining sanctions were gradually wound down after the 2016 nuclear agreement was reached.

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The Associated Press reported that Iranian authorities say all apps from developers based in the country have been removed from the App Store. Barack Obama's administration eased restrictions on US tech companies that offered Internet services in Iran as a way of encouraging a free flow of information, especially among younger Iranians.

In the spirit of encouraging open access to information the Obama administration went as far as to pass measures to sanction technology companies which helped Iran - where Twitter and Facebook are banned - suppress internet communication.

European countries lifted all sanctions against Iran after the 2016 nuclear agreement was reached. As a result, Iranian apps made money through cash and an online payment system called shaparak, created in response to the sanctions. But now, reports claim that Apple is taking even more aggressive action to remove Iranian apps. "What is the point when people can't download your app?"

Azari Jahromi wrote in Persian that "11 percent of the cell phone market in Iran belongs to Apple".

Apple declined to comment on the issue to The New York Times. In regards to Apple, Iran's telecommunications minister said on Twitter that the country would "legally pursue the omission of apps". Giving respect to consumer rights is a principle today which Apple has not followed.

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