iPhone is coming to Iran. (thesantosrepublic.com)

by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Chief Visionary Founder & Owner

June 1, 2013 (TSR) – The U.S. Treasury Department has lifted a sanction on the exportation “of certain services, software, and hardware incident to personal communications” to Iran, which could include Apple’s line of iDevices, according to MacObserver.

The shift marks the first time Apple’s iPhone can be exported legally to Iran.
iPhone is coming to Iran. (thesantosrepublic.com)
iPhone is coming to Iran. (thesantosrepublic.com)

As outlined in a legal document posted to Apple’s “Global Trade Compliance Information” page, the United States presently prohibits the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply of Apple goods to Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Though this list previously included Iran, in a statement issued by the U.S. Treasury Department it has been announced that sanctions against the country will be lifted in an attempt “to empower the Iranian people as their government intensifies its efforts to stifle their access to information.”

The statement reads:

To help facilitate the free flow of information in Iran and with Iranians, The U.S. Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the U.S. Department of State, is issuing a General License today authorizing the exportation to Iran of certain services, software, and hardware incident to personal communications. This license allows U.S. persons to provide the Iranian people with safer, more sophisticated personal communications equipment to communicate with each other and with the outside world. This General License aims to empower the Iranian people as their government intensifies its efforts to stifle their access to information.

It has been reported previously that as a result of the above sanction, Apple Store employees in the United States have refused to sell iDevices to customers speaking Farsi. This issue should now be eradicated, and in addition, Cupertino now also has the option of selling products from within Iran itself.

The U.S. had toughened sanctions in recent years in an effort to force Iran to curb its nuclear program.
The U.S. claims Iran is enriching uranium to levels that could be used in a nuclear weapon, but Iran insists its program has peaceful objectives. Iran is a member of NPT and is doing everything legal, whereas Israel refused to allow any inspectors to check their 200-400 nuclear bombs.
The U.S. treasury department said in a statement that it would allow sales of equipment and software to Iranians but said the government and people on a list of “specially designated nationals” remained barred from export licenses.
“We certainly care deeply about the Iranian people and their day-to-day lives,” Wendy Sherman, the state department’s undersecretary for political affairs, told the BBC Persian service on Wednesday.
“That general license will allow both software and hardware to move forward to Iran and to the Iranian people so that they can have freedom to communicate with each other in ways that they don’t always have.”
The National Iranian American Council welcomed the move.
“Lifting these sanctions is an extremely positive step,” said policy director Jamal Abdi.
“There was no better example of sanctions that undermined human rights and civil society efforts of Iranians.”
In recent years, Iranians in the U.S. have complained Apple retail stores had refused to sell them iPhones or iPads, with employees saying they feared the devices would be illegally shipped to Iran.

The door is open for Apple to move forward into a new emergent market. With sales in India having recently increased by up to 400 percent following a number of successful iPhone campaigns, it’s clear that international marketing – with particular focus on developing nations – is presently a major interest of Apple’s.

The rumored launch of a low-cost “budget” iPhone handset could be especially useful for Apple as the company embarks on such an expansion.

The move comes just weeks ahead of elections in Iran.


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