Of Ipads and Iran

Apple, the company famously run by Steve Jobs, until his death from pancreatic cancer, and Iran, often make headlines, but not usually in the same segment. The popular tech giant made headlines this past week, when a sales clerk in Alpharetta, Georgia refused to sell an iPad to a 19 year old woman. According to reports, Sahar Sabet was overheard speaking Farsi with her uncle, when a store worker asked her where she was from.  When she replied that she was from Iran, she was told that they would not be able to sell her the iPad she wanted.

Sabet, an American citizen, was apparently going to send the iPad to someone in Iran. Apparently Zach Jafarzadeh had a similar experience when he tried to by an iPhone at a different location. According to Sabet, the employee cited, “bad relations” between the countries as the reason and when she called Apple, she was told to make her purchase online.

Was the Apple employee correct? According to the Huffington Post, the following is on the Apple website:

PROHIBITED DESTINATIONS: 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, or any Apple good, 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.

The online community has been in active debate about this topic, with some in agreement, some in vehement disagreement, and some saying it’s correct in theory, but ridiculous to try and uphold the embargo at the local retail level. Here is the link to a summary of the sanctions in place against Iran: http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/iran.pdf

What do you think?

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