US Opens the Door for iPhone Sales in Iran

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The United States Treasury Department has lifted some sanctions on selling communication devices mobile phones in Iran, which means Apple can finally begin selling its popular iPhone in the country. The decision will make it easier for people in Iran to legitimately buy iPhones, iPads, and other electronics, and is a move on the part of the U.S. to help push for political freedom in the country.

U.S. sanction changes mean Apple can sell the iPhone in IranU.S. sanction changes mean Apple can sell the iPhone in Iran

The Treasury Department said in a statement that Iranians deserve access to information and to communicate with each other without fear of government retribution. The agency stated,

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.

While the policy change is good news for some people in Iran, it isn't good news for everyone in the country. The U.S. isn't allowing companies to export products to Iran's government, or to people or organizations on its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.

The policy change will hopefully help curb incidents where companies in the U.S. refuse to sell products to people they think are Iranian nationals. Apple came under fire in 2012 when the National Iranian American Council accused the company of racial profiling over retail store employees refusing to sell iPhones to customers that spoke Farsi or appeared to be of Iranian descent.

The incidents didn't appeared to be widespread, but did underscore the confusion that comes with government-imposed sales sanctions.

The U.S. reversal on the Iranian sanctions comes a few weeks ahead of elections in the country. Apple may not be able to ramp up sales in Iran quickly enough to get iPhones and iPads into people's hands, but the door is now open for the company to move forward into a new market.

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Loosening U.S. sanctions in Iran is good news for companies and citizens. Apple and other smartphone makers can now sell their products in the country, and Iranian citizens will have access to tools that help them communicate with each other and people around the world.

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But will the Iranian Government allow iDevices into the country legally?

If the US Government cannot hack an encrypted iPhone, I can’t imagine that the Iranians will want that challenge either. Let them try to intercept iMessages.

It’s a great beacon of hope for their citizens, but I can’t see their regime allowing it so openly. (hopefully, I’m wrong)

With all the turmoil between the two countries this is a nice move to resolving current issues. Apple has really been making a push to bring the iPhone into countries that once didn’t allow technology like this.

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