Banned by Sanctions, Macs and iPhones a Big Hit in Iran

Sales Booming in Recent Years, Report Merchants

Like any remotely interesting piece of technology, anything made by Apple Computer is officially banned, per US sanctions, from ever being shipped to Iran. A reminder of this fact came last month, when certain Apple Stores in the US were caught refusing to sell products to ethnic Iranians for fear it would violate the sanctions.

But what happens in Metro Atlanta is quite different from what happens in Tehran, where despite the US sanctions merchants are openly selling Apple products and customers are eagerly buying them.

“Business has been booming for the last three years,” insisted the owner of one Apple-exclusive store in Tehran, RadanMac. Others said that the inflation from the more recent US-EU banking sanctions have slowed purchases somewhat, but that business is still brisk.

And while Apple is trying to shut down one of the local sellers, called Apple Iran, for hosting a Persian-language copy of their website, the company is benefiting directly from the not-quite-banned trade, as locals report a brisk sale of software downloads from the iTunes and App Store. They just have to buy foreign gift cards, provide a phony address in a non-banned country, and commerce can continue on its merry way.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of