The Apple of My Eye-Ranian

An odd story is emerging today, revealing that at least some Apple Stores are refusing to sell products to ethnically Persian people and claiming it is because of the US embargo on Iran.

The reports begin in Georgia, where a 19-year-old US citizen was barred from buying an iPad after she admitted her ethnicity to the clerk.

Apple’s website has the same generic “export compliance” page that most computer manufacturers do, noting that it is illegal to export certain technology to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria without prior US government approval. Apparently this was the source of the employee’s reasoning that the sales weren’t allowed.

But of course that only applies to export, and not Iranians in the United States, and most certainly not random American citizens who happen to be ethnically Persian. The very same export page also provides a list of countries excluded from a ban on using Apple products to develop nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, with neither India, Pakistan nor Israel on the list. Yet can anyone imagine Apple refusing to sell computers to ethnically Indian people, or ethnically Pakistani people, or Jews using the same rationale?

Adding to the oddity, incidents were reported in more than one Georgia Apple Store, as well as one in Virginia. Apple corporate is simply refusing to comment, suggesting this may be, incredible as it may sound, their actual policy.

15 thoughts on “The Apple of My Eye-Ranian”

  1. In response to complaints from Iranians, Apple justified its discriminatory practices by stating: "The U..S. holds complete embargoes against Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. The exportation, reexportation, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a U.S. person wherever located, of any Apple goods, software, technology (including technical data), or
    services to any of these countries is strictly prohibited without prior authorization by the U.S. Government. This prohibition also applies to any Apple owned subsidiary or any subsidiary employee worldwide."
    Following their line of reasoning are Iranians, Americans, and the whole global community, to understand that the United States government has no problem with child labor, where Apple uses child labor in China – and in line with this reasoning, they are being a good coporate enforcing US Sanctions? Shame.

  2. If anyone of Persian descent needs to buy any Apple product, I'll be happy to work out a deal to buy it and hand it to you in front of the clerk.

    On the other hand, a discrimination suit and/or boycott might not be a bad idea either. One could easily call for a boycott based on China's human rights record, in any case.

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  4. Looks like American/Iranians will be the only ones singled out…. One can buy Apple products in numerous different countries without any racial obstacles at all….

  5. Isn't some Saudi prince a major shareholder in Apple? I wouldn't doubt that his idiot ideas reached Apple's corporate policy.

    1. The Saudi Prince is there to make money. It can't be his idea for sure.

      Export control was initially meant for high-tech stuff only but now it has become meaningless. China is on export control list for many products that American companies manufacture in China. So, for example, Apple can manufacture Ipad in China, but cannot export Ipad from US to China.

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