By AMIR VAHDAT
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Apple Inc. has removed all Iranian mobile apps from its App Store, authorities said Friday.
Ali Maleki, who works for Iran’s biggest e-commerce site Digikala, told The Associated Press that the app was shut down around 10 days ago. He said Digikala’s app has been removed “based on the new type of sanctions which were imposed against Iran.”
In reaction to Apple’s decision, Telecommunication Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said Apple should respect its Iranian consumers.
Apple, based in Cupertino, California, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jahromi tweeted: “11% of Iran’s mobile phone market share is owned by Apple. Giving respect to consumer rights is a principle today which Apple has not followed. We will follow up the cutting of the apps legally.”
The move comes two years after the historic nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, in which Iran accepted curbs on its contested nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions. U.S. legislation passed earlier this month imposed mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.
Apple is not officially in Iran or any other Persian Gulf countries, but many Iranians purchase its products from stores inside Iran.