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OFAC Seemingly Against Apple's Anti-Iran Bias

OFAC Seemingly Against Apple's Anti-Iran Bias

Apple is aggressively shutting down Iranian-based apps, reportedly citing adherence to USA sanctions against the country. The company even put app developers on notice a few months ago, telling them to not include payment options in their apps so that Iranian currency wouldn't make its way into the US, according to The Times.

On Thursday, the California-based company removed Snapp, the taxi-hailing service dubbed the "Iranian Uber" from its platform, while last week it removed Delion, a food delivery service and Alopeyk, a parcel delivering service.

According to the Times, Apple sent this message to Iranian developers whose apps they removed: "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".

Taghizadeh has also protested the move with a #StopRemovingIranianApps campaign on Twitter, according to The Times.

Salehi-Isfahani said there has already been much uncertainty about foreign investment, and Apple's removal of Iranian apps could be a sign that the company believes the accord may be in jeopardy. "Imagine if in the United States, you wouldn't be able to get Uber on your phone". "Apple is reportedly now "...moving aggressively to shut down Iranian apps".

"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. Like Facebook and YouTube, Twitter is banned by the government in Iran, but determined Iranians still use it to connect with each other and the world at large.

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They previously brought those apps to Apple's App Store, which Iranians accessed and used to download the programs.

Jahromi is Iran's youngest ever government minister.

European countries lifted all sanctions against Iran after the 2016 nuclear agreement was reached. Iran had developed its own internal online payment system, shaparak, in response to the sanctions.

In reaction to Apple's decision, Telecommunication Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, 34, said Apple should respect its Iranian consumers.

"11 per cent of the cellphone market in Iran belongs to Apple", wrote Azari Jahromi on Twitter (translated from Persian). We will follow up the cutting of the apps legally.

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