Users demand Apple stop removing popular Iranian apps

Iranian app

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. Because of USA sanctions against the country, the company's iPhones are not legally available for sale here, and Apple does not offer a version of its App Store in the country.

Iranians took to Twitter to voice their frustrations at Apple, using the hashtag #StopRemovingIranianApps.

In a message to Iranian developers whose apps were affected by the ban, Apple said, "Under the United States sanctions regulations, the App Store can not host, distribute or do business with apps or developers connected to certain U.S. embargoed countries".

As Apple takes Iranian apps down, their Android counterparts remain untouched so far in the Google Play app store. "We'll pursue the removal of [Iranian] apps", said Azari Jahromi on his Twitter page. Late last month, Apple began removing VPN apps from the China App Store, sharing with developers that it was due to illegal content being contained in the apps. Google (googl) also allows for apps to be accessible and downloaded in Iran, marking a stark departure with Apple.

Even though Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are officially banned and blocked by the Iranian government, TechRasa believes there are 47 million social media users in the country.




The apps which initially were removed were Delion (food delivery service), DigiKala (retailer), AloPeyk (parcel delivery service), Takhfifan (group buying website), and Alibaba (online travel agency).

Jahromi is Iran's youngest ever government minister.

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".

Apple's crackdown follows a similar wave of removals which targeted Chinese apps created to enable residents to evade censors and gain access to the global internet.

Since August 19, Apple has gradually removed most applications related to Iran from its iOS store. At the time, CEO Tim Cook clarified that they were following the policy guidelines set by Chinese regulators.

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