updated 12:00 pm EDT, Wed August 28, 2013
Change linked to loosened US sanctions on Iranian trade
Apple will start selling hardware to people planning to bring them to Iran, according to an official statement. The company tells the Wall Street Journal that the policy change is a result of a May 30th decision by the US Treasury Department, easing trade sanctions. "We've been told by the US government that most Apple products are covered by regulatory changes announced by the Treasury Department," a spokeswoman explains. "As a result, Apple is no longer banned from selling Macs and iOS devices to customers who plan to bring or send those products to Iran."
The Treasury Department decision lets US businesses sell communications technology to Iranian citizens, but not to the government or related parties. The WSJ indicates that rather than being a gesture of good will, the change is an attempt to give Iranian dissenters a better means of organizing protest. During a suppressed 2009 movement, Iranian protesters relied on mediums like Twitter and text messaging to communicate.
Apple continues to follow official US embargoes against Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.