Apple neither sells iPhones nor has an App Store in Iran, but that hasn’t stopped millions of iPhones from entering the country illegally. With a market of millions of iPhone users in the country, a cottage industry has sprung up creating apps relevant to Iranians–apps that are sold in App Stores in other locals and accessed by Iranians who have an Apple ID in those foreign locals. But now Apple has begun removing Iranian apps from foreign app stores to comply with U.S. sanctions, reports the New York Times.
In a note sent to developers of such apps, Apple said: “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.” And it’s not just indie developers that are seeing their apps targeting Iranian users removed. Major apps including Snapp, the Uber of Iran, have been removed by Apple.