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The New Arab

Apple removes Iranian mobile apps from its App Store citing US sanctions

Many Iranians purchase Apple products from stores inside Iran [AFP]

Date of publication: 25 August, 2017

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Apple Inc. has removed all Iranian mobile apps from its App Store on Thursday, citing US sanctions.
Apple Inc. removed all Iranian mobile apps its App Store, citing US sanctions regulations that prohibits hosting or conducting businesses with developers connected to embargoed states. 

The multinational technology company removed Snapp, a popular Tehran-based ride-hauling company similar to Uber on Thursday. 

The move comes after other Iran-based services apps were removed in recent weeks, including apps used for food delivery and shopping.

"Under the US sanctions regulations, the App Store cannot host, distribute or do business with apps or developers connected to certain US embargoed countries," Apple told Iranian developers affected by the move.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, confirmed the message's authenticity but did not make any further comments.

In reaction to its decision, Telecommunication Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said Apple should respect its Iranian consumers.

"11% of Iran’s mobile phone market share is owned by Apple. Giving respect to consumer rights is a principle today which Apple has not followed. We will follow up the cutting of the apps legally," Jahromi tweeted.

Apple does not have any official stores in Iran, but many Iranians purchase its products from stores inside the country.

"We work so hard," Mahdi Taghizadeh, a founder of the online food delivery service Delion Foods, told the New York Times.

"No one with an iPhone can download any of the popular apps any more. Imagine if in the US you wouldn't be able to get Uber on your phone," he said.

"The full removal of Iranian apps by Apple means our work will be much more complicated."

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