TIL In 2012 a Georgia Apple Store salesperson denied selling an iPad to a woman because she was speaking Farsi, claiming it was against company policy to sell anything to someone from Iran.

Read more: https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/customer-apple-store-denied-me-ipad-speaking-farsi/242878717/

What do you think?

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  1. Bad as it may sound, if the prospective customer was Iranian, then the employee was correct to refuse them service. He/she was following US government mandated ITAR/Trade Compliance restrictions which are meant to control the flow of certain items/technologies to certain countries. Ipads have some very advanced technologies and hardware in them. And many tech companies’ products fall under the export laws. *Laws*, not suggestions.

    In 2012 Iran was still subject to strict sanctions. It would indeed have been illegal to sell an ipad to anyone who was a confirmed iranian resident. That embargo was loosened in 2014 (per apples own trade compliance web page).

  2. She said she told the salesperson that she was from Iran. She doesn’t claim that she specified that she was born in Iran and was now a resident of the US.

    At that time, Apple was disallowed by the government to sell products to Iran.

    It’s possible the salesperson was racially profiling her as Iranian. But considering she *was* Iranian, I’m not going to assume that. And unless she specified that she was a US resident, the salesperson was simply following US law about selling to foreign nationals from Iran.

    EDIT: And since she was purchasing a device for someone living in Iran, it would have been confiscated as it entered customs.

  3. >”I feel like this is a bit of racial profiling against Iranians and I’m appalled,”

    Wait, how can it be racial profiling if it’s a sanction against a *country*? Iranians of any race or ethnicity were refused sale under the sanctions…

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