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Apple Is Pulling Apps By Iranian Developers From The App Store To Comply With US Sanctions (buzzfeed.com) 101

An anonymous reader shares a report: Apple is pulling apps created by Iranian developers that are specifically designed for people in Iran from its App Stores to comply with US sanctions, The New York Times reports. Apple does not sell its products in Iran and an Iranian version of the Apple App Store doesn't exist, but smuggled iPhones are popular among wealthy Iranians. Iranian developers have created thousands of apps for these users and offer them on App Stores in other countries including the US App Store. For the last few weeks, Apple has been removing Iranian food delivery and shopping apps, and on Thursday, it removed Snapp, an Uber-like ride hailing app that is popular in Iran.
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Apple Is Pulling Apps By Iranian Developers From The App Store To Comply With US Sanctions

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Way to go Trump administration! This is how we will make peace with the Iranian people.
    • Re:Hearts and minds! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @09:29AM (#55082569) Homepage Journal

      The point of sanctions is to force (or entice) someone to do something.

      But the sanctions stick only works if you're willing to stop when they do whatever it is you want.

      Short of invading (which would be much, much harder than Iraq), there's no way we can stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We can't even stop North Korea from having nuclear weapons, and for much the same reason: they don't have to shop around the world for yellowcake. They can dig uranium right out of their own soil.

      And Iran is a far more technologically advanced nation than North Korea. It has 30x the GDP too. So we can't use sanctions to force them not to develop nuclear weapons. The most we could do is convince them that they're better off without nukes.

      So Iranian sanctions only have a chance of working if you have some kind of end game.

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Sanctions however don't hurt the government of the target country, as those in power will still have their own black market channels to get whatever they want. On the other hand, these sanctions do hurt:

        American companies - like Apple, all those potential customers in Iran will now go elsewhere, probably to a chinese or russian vendor who will happily supply to Iran.
        Iranian people - now have less choice, and will lose any investment they made in existing devices or apps and will have to deal with reduced fu

        • by hey! ( 33014 )

          In fact this HELPS the Iranian government

          We never managed to learn that particular less in fifty years of US-Cuba relations.

          • Okay, Cuba is a great example of why sanctions are a moral policy. Only the US has (actually now had) sanctions against Cuba. Every other country in the world has normal trade relations w/ Cuba: much of its trade is w/ Europe. Despite all that, the Cuban people continue to live in abject poverty and oppression.

            Those who make the argument that sanctions only hurt people, not the government can learn from this example. Even not having sanctions has hurt the Cuban people. At this stage though, it's j

      • "Short of invading... there's no way we can stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons."

        The U.S. and Israeli military now has these things called "bombs" and "missiles" that can blow things up without requiring an invasion.

        You should read Military Times

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          Both Israeli and American senior military staff have already admitted that there's no easy way to destroy Iran's nuclear program with air power alone.

          Otherwise Israel would likely have taken care of business on their own by now.

        • by hey! ( 33014 )

          You have to know where to drop the bombs, which, without physical access to the country, you won't.

          It's probably impossible to hide a HEU processing facility, period, but the Pu route could feasibly be hidden from aerial surveillance.

      • You can use sanctions to force a country to produce nuclear weapons, unfortunately. Already forced North Korea to it -- they know it's their only negotiating leverage with the west, and they have nothing more to lose.

        If sanctions were actually meant to stop countries becoming nuclear, they might be designed in a way that would work. But nuclear sanctions are largely just an excuse to increase economic war against an enemy. Hence the lack of sanctions on Israel's nuclear program and the half-hearted slight r

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          Nukes as negotiating leverage? Are you seriously deranged? That kind of threat is likely to get your country turned into a slag heap and all of your people killed.

      • by Threni ( 635302 )

        Only Americans are worried about Iran. Everyone else is worried about America! If you're American and worried about Iran you're consuming the wrong news sources.

    • Way to go America cooperating with the ruling Mullahs in protecting the Iranian people from evil western influences. I'm sure they appreciate the help.

    • While Trump has spoken about the need for peace w/ Russia, as well as urging peace b/w Russia/Ukraine and Israel/Palis, he's never said that he wants peace w/ 'the Iranian people' (which is about as represented by their regime as Castro or Maduro represent the Cuban or Venezuelan people)

      So this will prevent Iranians from having any use for iPhones, and shuts Apple out of that market. Although I wonder - why now? They could have done it all this while to protest Iran's persecution of LGBTQ people. Also

  • Now that takes courage!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Did something just happen to trigger this? The decades old US sanctions against Iran were partially lifted [treasury.gov] on January 16, 2016. Why does Apple suddenly feel the need to clamp down now?

    • Probably someone at the government level just noticed the loophole and pulled their gun on Apple. Sadly there is nothing you can do as a company in the US if the US unilaterally decides to kill off your business in a particular country, it doesn't even go to regular courts and any attempt to publicize it will be treated as you're a treasonous SOB by the news media.

  • And? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @09:18AM (#55082479) Homepage Journal
    You just rent your hardware and software from Apple, you don't own it. Silly people.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Apple also recently removed VPN apps used by Chinese people to avoid the Great Firewall and read and say things their govt doesn't want them to read and say, after pressure from the Chinese government.

    Central control is dangerous, even when the party with the control is a "good guy". They can be leaned on by others with the power to hurt them, and have to do that other's bidding. Or they can just screw up and brick 100 million IoT devices which are centrally controlled.

    The original idea of the internet wa

    • Central control is dangerous, even when the party with the control is a "good guy".

      Who are these "good guys" I hear people talk about? I think they may be imaginary.

  • by Freischutz ( 4776131 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @09:43AM (#55082699)

    ...removing Iranian food delivery and shopping apps, and on Thursday, it removed Snapp, an Uber-like ride hailing app that is popular in Iran.

    Thus neutralising yet another key component of Iran's uranium enrichment industry's supply chain ... or not.

  • by fredrated ( 639554 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @10:14AM (#55082973) Journal

    one poke in the eye at a time.

  • I'll add this sort of thing to my lengthy list of reasons that you don't want to be locked into a walled garden: it subjects you further to the vagaries of international politics.

  • sanctions against whole countries (particularly non-democratic) hurt way more innocent people than the perpetrators of whatever misdeeds sanctions aim to stop.

    target specific bad acting individuals.

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