IPhone owners from Iran on March 15 found that they can not access the App Store. When you try to download something on the screen, an error appears. This was reported by the publication Bleeping Computer referring to users from Iran.
According to Bleeping Computer, it is about blocking users of the country by IP-addresses. Previously, they could change the App Store region in the settings and download applications, but now Apple has closed this loophole. When you try to download something, users see an error with the text “The App Store is not available in your country or in the region where you are.”
In the event that Apple has permanently disabled users from Iran from the application store via IP addresses, they still can bypass the blocking with VPN services. However, in this case, you will not be able to use the smartphone as before, because the connection through the VPN is much slower than usual.
It is unclear what caused the lock, but as noted by The Verge, the reason may be to strengthen US sanctions against Iran. Apple did not make public statements and did not respond to journalists’ requests.
Because of sanctions, the American company does not sell smartphones on the territory of Iran and does not have an office there. Nevertheless, millions of iOS devices illegally import into the country, which are in demand among Iranians.
In August 2017, Apple removed popular Iranian applications from Iranian developers, such as the local Uber counterpart (it is also not in the country) and a delivery service. The company referred to the sanctions list, which prohibits it from doing business with application creators from countries under sanctions.