26 August, 2017
Despite this, the company has been removing a number of popular Iranian apps over the past few weeks, and now, it says USA sanctions require it to do so.
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. For the last few weeks, Apple has been removing Iranian food delivery and shopping apps, and on Thursday, it removed Snapp, an Uber-like ride hailing app that is popular in Iran.
NYT writes that due to the us sanctions, Apple doesn't operate any official business in Iran or have an Iranian App Store.
Iranian developers have spoken out against the move, starting a campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #StopRemovingIranianApps.
Google hasn't begun to take down Iranian apps from its Play store. "Imagine if in the United States, you wouldn't be able to get Uber on your phone".
"This will have drastic effects on the startup ecosystem and economy", the creators of the petition, who characterized themselves as "Iranian residents of global village", said of Apple's decision. But now, reports claim that Apple is taking even more aggressive action to remove Iranian apps.
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"When I inquired why only some Iranian apps have been targeted while hundreds (including some internationally known names) are still available on App Store, the Apple operator did not respond", Mehdi Nayebi, CEO of Alopeyk, one of Iran's leading parcel delivery services, told the Financial Tribune. His app was among those removed during the purge.
The U.S. has levied a host of sanctions against Iran due to its nuclear weapons program.
Jahromi tweeted: '11% of Iran's mobile phone market share is owned by Apple. Today, respecting the rights of consumers is a principle which Apple has violated.
According to the Times, Iran's telecommunications minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said that the country "will legally purse the omission of apps". We will follow up the cutting of the apps legally.
Apple declined to comment on the issue to The New York Times.
In addition to blocking Twitter, the Iranian government has long blocked Facebook and YouTube.