According to the reports, the iOS versions of the mobile apps developed in Iran have no longer been accessible to the users since Wednesday.
Several Iranian banks, online payment firms as well as ride-hailing and food delivery services have notified their mobile app users via text messages that the access to the iOS software has been blocked due to certain “restrictions imposed by the Apple company.”
Apple Inc. has not yet commented on the reports.
The tech has no formal operations in Iran due to the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US on the Islamic Republic. That, however, has not stopped Iranian technology lovers from buying Apple iPhones — which are being smuggled into the country among other Apple devices.
The US once removed its economic sanctions against Iran in 2016, months after a multinational nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), took effect, prompting Apple to get in touch with Iranian distributors to examine the possibility of entering the country.
Those American sanctions, however, were reinstalled when the US abandoned the nuclear deal in May last year.
Many companies have registered their apps being outside of Iran so as to get listed on the store.
In late 2017, months before Washington’s withdrawal from the deal, Apple removed apps originating in Iran from the App Store, citing American sanctions.
In response, Iranian Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi took to Twitter to complain about the move and said, “11 percent of the cellphone market in Iran belongs to Apple.”
“Respecting customer rights is a principle today that Apple hasn’t abided by. We will legally pursue the omission of apps,” he added.