Apple has started to remove apps from the App Store which are designed to operate in Iran, due to America’s complex sanctions against the region. Apple doesn’t have an official presence in Iran, nor does it sell iPhones there; but the country has a thriving app industry of its own. Developers publish Iranian apps in countries where the App Store is officially available, where local users can downloaded them.
In a statement published by the New York Times, Apple told Iranian developers:
“Under the U.S. sanctions regulations, the App Store cannot host, distribute or do business with apps or developers connected to certain U.S. embargoed countries.”
Google Play is available in Iran, and Google hasn’t removed apps from the store at this stage. However, some Google services including YouTube, along with other social apps such as Facebook, are blocked by the Iranian government.
The apps removed from the store include an Iranian ride-hailing app, food delivery apps, and shopping apps.