Citing Sanctions, Samsung to Block Iranians From App Store

Announcement Sparks Anger Among Company's Customers

When you’re Iranian and looking for Farsi-language mobile applications, Samsung has long been the only game in town, at least since Nokia abandoned the country last year. Despite the popularity of the iPhone and other devices, they all relied on using a phony address and a VPN to access applications stores made for other nations, and aren’t officially supported in Iran.

Samsung was different, offering localized services for Iranians, but they too are falling victims to the international sanctions, and an announcement by Samsung that “legal barriers” are forcing them to close the Iranian version of the Samsung Apps store.

The announcement sparked a flurry of angry comments from Iranian customers, many of them blaming Samsung for knuckling under to international pressure, and others criticizing the Iranian government’s policies.

It isn’t clear from the announcement what will happen to Samsung’s existing Iranian customers, and whether they will be able to spoof their way into another nation’s version of the Samsung Apps store.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.