Iranian iPhone users can no longer access the App Store, in what appears to be an Apple block of the country.
Apple doesn’t sell phones or operate an App Store in Iran, but Iranians could still import Apple products from other countries and set them up to access portions of the App Store.
It appears that Apple is now blocking any traffic coming from inside Iran, preventing users from accessing the App Store in any capacity.
The block has presumably come from US sanctions on Iran, which Donald Trump brought forward last year.
If the ban was to become permanent, Iran’s users would have to route their internet traffic through VPNs, to make it appear that they are online in another country. They would be able to access the App Store this way, but it would also make it harder to use Apple devices.
iPhone currently gives the message “The App Store is unavailable in the country or region you’re in” to users in Iran trying to access the store.
Previously, Apple begun removing Iranian developers’ apps from the App Store last year. In January, it also got rid of apps which facilitated transactions for businesses.
It removed a lot of popular consumer apps in August and stated: “Under the US sanctions regulations, the App Store cannot host, distribute, or do business with apps or developers connected to certain US embargoed countries.”