Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Businesses Government Apple

Georgia Apple Store Refuses To Sell iPad To Iranian-American Teen 1116

pdclarry writes "An Iranian-American teenager was told by an Apple store employee that they could not sell her an iPad because it would violate U.S. trade restrictions. She returned to the store with a camera crew from a local TV station and was again turned down. Apparently an Apple employee heard her speaking Farsi. As he was also of Iranian extraction he recognized the language and used this as a basis for refusal."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Georgia Apple Store Refuses To Sell iPad To Iranian-American Teen

Comments Filter:
  • by nanoflower ( 1077145 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:30PM (#40432039)

    Sounds like the sales person is a bit confused about the regulations. I'm surprised they didn't call over a manager especially when a film crew showed up, or maybe they did after reading the article. It looks like all involved are a bit confused about the regulations.

    There was absolutely nothing preventing them from selling the Ipad to the teen since they were in America and said nothing (according to them) about sending it overseas. Now, it would be illegal for the teen to send the Ipad back to Iran, but that would be the responsibility of the teen and not the Apple store. It sounds like the manager and employees have carried the restrictions on shipping certain products to countries like Iran a bit too far as it isn't meant to prevent them from selling those products to people from Iran living in this country.

  • by lkcl ( 517947 ) <> on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:32PM (#40432057) Homepage

    question. is this iranian apple employee also prevented and prohibited from purchasing apple products?

  • Wait wait wait (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:32PM (#40432059)

    "Apparently an Apple employee heard her speaking Farsi. As he was also of Iranian extraction he recognized the language and used this as a basis for refusal."

    So this isn't just another case of "racist white guy does something stupid to someone just because they're Middle Eastern*", this is "racist Middle Eastern guy does something stupid to someone just because they're Middle Eastern"

    That's... wow. I was not prepared for this level of stupid today.

    * Is is really correct to consider Iran "Middle Eastern"? I know they're ethnically and linguistically distinct from the Arabs, and also have a significant religious difference. But geographically (and geo-politically, at least from an American view), you could definitely argue that they are.

  • by KrayzieKyd ( 906704 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:33PM (#40432079)
    1. This is old 2. This has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, or 9/11 3. This has nothing to do with Apple 4. This has to do with the US embargo on Iran, which includes selling goods to anyone in the US that could take them back to Iran. This is law. This is not Apple acting out of nowhere. It's in their legal terms that states they follow US embargo laws. If you don't like them, tell your congressman to change US embargo law or to lift the embargo against Iran. Good luck with that.
  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:35PM (#40432693)

    Please note this is one Iranian refusing to sell to another Iranian. I will gladly sell her an android :)

  • by Mitsoid ( 837831 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:38PM (#40432731)

    Usually the customers don't admit to the person they are buying from "I am going to break the law"... not to mention most $8/hr employees don't speak too many languages or otherwise care about US law or company policies.

    Apple has an unusual employment base (fanatics), that read all the policies and rules to avoid losing their dream jobs... He happened to note that apple policy and enforced it when the customer informed them they were going to break the law....

    Also, most people, if they were confronted like this, would realize admitting they wanted to break US export laws was a bad idea and wouldn't grab a camera crew to come and record them attempting to purchase an item that is going to be exported illegally... and would instead just keep quiet and go down the street to another store..........

    She, obviously, wants attention and wants to make sure DHS and whomever handled export laws to KNOW she is trying to export illegal electronics....

    But yeah, most people are smart enough to not put up a fight when they are told they are going to break the law when doing so.. and as i said.. quietly go somewhere else.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Genda ( 560240 ) <mariet@got . n et> on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:44PM (#40432801) Journal

    Because we've made the Iranians the "Evil Brown People Du Jour" and therefore if you speak or even understand Farsi, own a Persian rug, or say "IRAN the half marathon in under and hour..." everyone and his third cousin is supposed to shun you as a potential terrorist... Booga, booga!!!!

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciated the strict limitations of selling technology goods to foreign nationals on the "No Sale" list. This is no excuse for picking people out of a crowd and treating them like criminals, simply because they know a "forbidden" language. I just read a story by a well known journalist who just finished traveling throughout the middle east, and his take on Iran was fascinating. The people there hate their government and the young people are on the verge of major social unrest. They have radios, and satellite TV, and video games. The kids play friggin video games where they get to be American soldiers attacking their own army. Tell me that isn't a sign that Iran isn't going to transform sooner or later. The Ayatollah Khomeini set the age of marriage for girls at 8 years old... you heard me right, four plus friggin four, two less then ten! The logic was that only by marrying a girl off before puberty could you be certain to prevent her from having sex before marriage. Of course this also meant the girl would never get any kind of education, and that she would certainly know her place as a SLAVE to her husband before she reached the age of 10 and for the rest of her life. You think the educated and professional women of Iran who lead self determined lives during the Shah, took that declaration with a grin? They are tired of partying like its 1399. We don't have to worry about Iran, Iran will fix itself, the religious zealotry of the last 30 years has proven to be devastating to the people of Iran, and the only thing that would cause it to persist is if we stuck our big fat noses into their business and caused the general population to line up behind their mullahs. Right now everyone in Iran under 30 wants to be an American. In 10 years, Iran could be our biggest ally in the MiddleEast, seeing as Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey are in the midst of serious religious ugliness and antiAmerican sentiment in those countries is running high.

    Give the girl her iPad for the love-o-Jebus, if she orders a top of the line Cray, okay, then by all means surveil her ass. Please believe me when I say, nobody is cobbling atomic bombs (or even IEDs) together out of iPads... and if they want that kind of technology, you think the Chinese and Russians wouldn't sell it to them in half a femtosecond? Its all political posturing and international diplomatic hoohah, and the rest of the world knows it.

    If you're going to be a hard-ass about selling the girl an iPad, tell her why and explain to her to "Please have your Father come in with proof of your citizenship." Explain, "Its because we're trying to prevent another 9/11 and even though its a pain in the ass for everyone including the nice clerk who really wants to sell you an iPad, we all make small sacrifice during times of war for National Security." Polite, compassionate and with a solution that let's everyone know where they stand.

    Instead we get a tempest in a teapot and journalists who'll blow it up into a civil rights fiasco. Jeez I hate slow news days.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:46PM (#40432817) Journal

    Well then, I'll certainly make sure I keep you very, very busy!

    There's no such thing as bad publicity.

    I guess you haven't heard of the Streisand Effect, Adolph.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bhagwad ( 1426855 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:53PM (#40432889) Homepage
    Except that the employee had no idea she was going to give it to anyone in Iran:"Sabet told WSBTV that the iPad was intended as a gift to her cousin in Iran, but said she didn't mention that to the clerk."
  • Re:Incoming... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:02PM (#40432997)

    I'm from Spain. I got asked in a very patronizing tone "What country in South America are you from?" (Uh.. None?) and drilled about why we were using my wife's card to pay for an iPad if it was for me, whether it was a birthday present, etc, etc. My wife is a U.S. citizen, and we both left the store confused and angry at the treatment. Now I understand why it was done, but it doesn't make it any better. It actually just confirms the profiling, just because I have an accent he couldn't place, even if we were both caucasians with with pale skin and blue eyes.

    So yeah, it is done to spanish speaking people, and it is both anger-inducing and humilliating. And he was an inmigrant too, with a really thick New Zealand accent.

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bhagwad ( 1426855 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:56PM (#40433521) Homepage
    It's irrelevant in any case because the employee did not hear her say it. And that's the only case either. Here's another:

    "A second Iranian American interviewed in the report also said he was barred from purchasing something at an Apple store in the Atlanta area when he was helping an Iranian student buy an iPhone. Zack Jafarzadeh said he and the friend were speaking Farsi when the sales rep denied their purchase. "We never talked about him going back to Iran or anything like that," Jafarzadeh said, according to the report."
  • by Elixon ( 832904 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @08:06PM (#40433585) Homepage Journal

    I don't get it. Which part of the sensitive technology iPad contains you deny to Iranians in Apple Stores that they cannot get from communist China where the iPad is manufactured?

    This whole "sensitive technology" banning in common consumer market... that just makes common Iranians feel bad because they are Iranians, nothing else.

    Would you be able to claim victory with all that Windows-based state-sponsored spyware Stuxnet and Flame if it were not for commercial companies (Siemens) breaking your funny rules and installing export-regulated Windows directly into nuclear facilities? ( ) Did you notice, that nobody says a word against Siemens ( [] ) but some common no-name Iranian (slash American)... Big money different rules?

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @10:11PM (#40434375) Homepage

    You must not be familiar with the recent expansion of the drug war to crack down on doctors who deal with prescription pain medication. Here's the start of a very nice series by Radley Balko at the Huffington Post:

    "Law enforcement agencies send undercover agents and informants into doctors' offices to lure suspected physicians into writing bad prescriptions. Doctors have then been conditioned to be suspicious of patients, to see them as potential addicts or drug dealers... The high-profile prosecution of Virginia pain specialist William Hurwitz is a good example. Federal investigators found that of Hurwitz's hundreds of patients, 15 had resold the the drugs he prescribed to them. There was no evidence that Hurwitz was complicit in or knew about the sales. At worst, he was duped by a small percentage of his patients. But instead of working with Hurwitz to catch the dealers posing as patients, investigators cut bargains with the dealers to implicate Hurwitz. Hurwitz was eventually convicted on 15 counts of distributing narcotics. In 2007, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema sentenced Hurwitz to 57 months in prison, far less than what prosecutors were asking. Brinkema acknowledged that Hurwitz was a well-intentioned doctor who had made some mistakes, not the drug pusher prosecutors portrayed him to be." []

  • Re:Poetic Justice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 24, 2012 @11:28PM (#40434871)

    There's no such thing as bad publicity.

    Everyone who is not a moron knows that this is not true. And as much as I'd like to accuse you of being a moron, even you know that's not true. Because if you stripped out that thin layer you're using to hide your flat-out neo-nazism, and spoke out your real beliefs without sugar-coating them, you'd get that bad publicity you claim you crave. You'd get media interviews, you'd get everyone in the country speaking about your organization around the water cooler.

    You'd get everyone hating you, and you'd lose most of the already insignificant support you have now.

    I went to your website and it's pretty much exactly as Pope Ratzo implied. A bunch of racist shit trying to pass off as legitimate concerns. And like all racist bullshit, it's all based on flawed logic and deliberate misinformation. Because if you didn't use trickery, you couldn't get any support.

    For example, "The University of Minnesota Says it's Unfair to be White." Wow, sounds like there really is discrimination going on against whites! I had no idea it was this bad! Until, of course, you watch the ad, and notice that what they say is that receiving privileged treatment as a result of your race is unfair. it's meant to make us wake up and pay attention to people of other races being discriminated against. The point of it is not to demand that we too should be followed around a store by security assuming that we will shoplift. The point is to make us speak out when we see it happening to others.

    Every other article is also a bullshit interpretation or deliberate misinformation in an attempt to make it seem like there's a war against white people. Day to day, I don't really see any bigoted people around me, and it's easy to forget trash like you still exists. Fuck you for reminding me that we as a society still haven't outgrown that crap and making my day that much worse.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost