Apple is “aggressively” removing iOS apps created by Iranian developers to comply with the U.S. sanctions regulations. Apple has no official presence in Iran — it does not sell any of its products and services in the country due to US sanctions against it.
However, there are still millions of iPhone owners in the country, with Iranian developers uploading apps on the App Store to cater to local demand. Now though, these developers are in a fix as Apple has started delisting all apps from the App Store that are made by Iranian developers.
In a message to Iranian developers whose apps were affected by the ban, 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.”
This move from Apple has led to popular apps like Snapp, a ride-hailing app like Uber, and DelionFoods, a food delivery service, being removed from the App Store. Since it is not possible to sideload apps on an iPhone from outside the App Store, there’s no way for iPhone owners in Iran to install these apps on their device now.
Apple had asked Iranian developers to stop offering any payment options in their app so as to stop the flow of any Iranian money to the United States.
Earlier in the year, Apple started removing VPN apps from the Chinese App Store to comply with a new regulation from the Chinese government.
If things continue like this, Apple will continue removing apps from its App Store to comply with the changing rules and regulations of various countries from across the world.[Via NY Times]