According to an August 2017 NYT article, “officially Apple has no presence in Iran. Because of American sanctions against the country, the company’s iPhones are not legally available for sale here, and Apple does not offer a version of its App Store in the country….Apple told Iranian developers in February to remove any payment options in their apps to prevent Iranian money from entering the United States in violation of the sanctions. Iran had developed its own internal online payment system, shaparak, in response to the sanctions. After the Apple notice, almost all Iranian apps, including Snapp, switched to shaparak, cash and other methods of payment.”


Reports coming out of Iran suggest that Apple has allegedly started removing iOS apps originating from the country’s startups and developers. Prior to this, Apple had, in a limited manner, opened up its App Store to Iranians in September 2016 and appeared to be gradually lifting some of the limitations, periodically, since then. According to credible tech news site Techrasa, the biggest Iranian e-commerce service, Digikala, which has millions of users, had its app removed from the App Store just a few days ago. While there is no official App Store available for the territory of Iran, many companies registered their apps as being outside of Iran to be able to get onto the store. (TechCrunch, "Apple Has Allegedly Began Removing Iranian iOS Apps from the App Store," 1/29/2017).