Apple Inc. has removed all Iranian apps from its App Store, a move the technology giant attributed to US economic sanctions, reports said.
Popular apps for food delivery, ride-hailing and other services in Iran have been removed in recent weeks.
Citing Iranian media, the Associated Press said the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant had removed all Iranian mobile apps.
“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 said in a statement.
In reaction to Apple’s decision, Iranian Telecommunication Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted that Apple accounts for 11% of Iran’s mobile phone market, even though the tech firm does not have an official presence in Iran, according to the report.
“Giving respect to consumer rights is a principle today which Apple has not followed,” Jahromi tweeted. “We will follow up the cutting of the apps legally.”
Iran is estimated to have about 40 million smartphones with 6 million Apple iPhones. Around 100,000 iPhones are reportedly smuggled in every month and many companies have registered their apps being outside of Iran so as to get listed on the store.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)