Thu Feb 28, 2019 04:46PM [Updated: Fri Mar 1, 2019 11:43AM
Reports indicate that Iranian users of iOS -- a mobile operating system created by Apple Inc. -- have been unable to access
the installed applications originating in Iran, fueling speculation of yet another hostile move by the American tech giant
targeting the Iranian users of its gear.
According to the reports, the iOS versions of the mobile apps developed in Iran have no longer been accessible to the users
Several Iranian banks, online payment firms as well as ride-hailing and food delivery services have notified their mobile app
users via text messages that the access to the iOS software has been blocked due to certain "restrictions imposed by the
Apple Inc. has not yet commented on the reports.
The tech has no formal operations in Iran due to the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US on the Islamic Republic. That,
however, has not stopped Iranian technology lovers from buying Apple iPhones -- which are being smuggled into the
country among other Apple devices.
The US once removed its economic sanctions against Iran in 2016, months after a multinational nuclear deal with Iran,
officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), took effect, prompting Apple to get in touch with Iranian
distributors to examine the possibility of entering the country.
Those American sanctions, however, were reinstalled when the US abandoned the nuclear deal in May last year.
In late 2017, months before Washington's withdrawal from the deal, Apple removed apps originating in Iran from the App
Store, citing American sanctions.
In response, Iranian Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi took to Twitter to complain about the
move and said, “11 percent of the cellphone market in Iran belongs to Apple.”
“Respecting customer rights is a principle today that Apple hasn’t abided by. We will legally pursue the omission of apps,"