Apple is "aggressively" cracking down on apps created by Iranian developers for users in Iran in an effort to comply with U.S. sanctions, reports The New York Times.
Apple does not offer its products in Iran, nor is there an Iranian App Store, but there are still millions of iPhones in the country that have been smuggled in from places like Dubai and Hong Kong. Iranian developers have created thousands of apps for these users, offering them in other App Stores outside of Iran.
The New York Times said Apple on Thursday removed Snapp, a popular app for an Uber-like ride hailing service that is popular in Iran. Many apps for food delivery, shopping, and other services have also been pulled over the course of the last few weeks.
Iranian developers who have been affected by the ban are being given the following message:
"Under the U.S. sanctions regulations, the App Store cannot host, distribute or do business with apps or developers connected to certain U.S. embargoed countries."
An Apple spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the message Iranian app developers are receiving, but declined to comment further on the matter.
In January, Apple started removing iOS apps originating in Iran from the App Store, and in February, told Iranian developers to remove any payment options from their apps in order to stop Iranian money from entering the United States. The more expansive removal of Iranian apps follows these initial efforts and comes on the heels of a new sanctions bill President Trump signed into law earlier this month.
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