Several cybersecurity experts confirmed that the ban is IP-based. Some users were able to fend off the ban via Virtual Private Network (VPN) services. The App Store could be accessed with a VPN even if users had an Iranian based App Store account.
Security experts tried to bypass the restrictions by creating a U.S.-based account. The service was still blocked as their IP was from Iran. As of now, all iPhone users in Iran will have to use a VPN to download their favorite apps.
Meysam Firouzi confirmed the reports that the ban is based on IP addresses. Friouzi was able to access the Store via a VPN even though his account was Iranian.
Apple has not issued an official statement about the problem.
Apple’s App Store Ban is Not a First in Iran
Nevertheless, it is not the first time the U.S. tech giant turns its back to Iran. In the past, it scrapped the applications created in Iran from the App Store. At the time, the company explained that it doesn’t want to do business with a country that is under U.S. embargo.
As long as the U.S. sanctions regulations are in effect, Apple is poised to ban apps and developers from Iran. It now seems to ban iPhone users as well. Surprisingly, Apple is still having a flourishing business in the country despite the sanctions.
Iranians buy their iPhones from China as Apple is barred from selling the handsets in Iran because of U.S. laws. The imported iPhones arrive quite fast since, last year, the iPhone 8 was available in Iran within 24 hours after its official release date (Sept. 22, 2017).
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