Islamic Rights Group Blasts Apple Over iPad Incident

    June 27, 2012
    Richard Stalker
    Comments are off for this post.

Last week in Alpharetta, Georgia, a young woman of Iranian descent was denied the purchase of an iPad by an Apple employee due to the fact that she was from Iran. A US citizen, Sahar Sabet felt humiliated and betrayed when the Apple employee came back and told her that it is company policy to not sell to people from Iran, due to bad relations between the United States and Iran.

She was at the store with her uncle who was there visiting from Iran when the purchase was denied. This was made clear to the Apple employee before he came back and said they couldn’t buy the iPad. Common sense tells me that the employee thought that while the girl was buying it, the iPad was for her uncle who would then try to take it back to Iran.

When the channel 2 action news team in Atlanta found out about the story, they sent a reporter to the Apple store in question to talk to the manager. The manager showed the reporter Apple’s policy. It said “the exportation, sale or supply from the U.S. to Iran of any Apple goods is strictly prohibited without authorization by the U.S. government.” The manager also told the reporter they have to rely on customers to be honest. He reiterated (the policy) always will be to not sell to anyone from Iran.

This is a touchy situation because while it is against the law to discriminate based on country of origin. It is also illegal to travel to Iran with laptops or satellite cellphones without U.S. authorization said a representative for the U.S. State Department.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), claimed there were other incidents in California and Virginia but he did not give any details about the incidents. “These are legal residents, on American soil,” he told FoxNews.com. “As Americans we are outraged, and every American would be outraged.”

While the Council on American-Islamic Relations is appalled at this, there is an Islamic group that is ok with what happened. The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans supports Apple’s take on the Alpharetta incident, concluding that Apple’s refusal to sell the product was not based on discrimination. The company is legal obliged to prevent sales if a product’s ultimate destination is Iran.

CAIR disagrees, saying in a statement: “We understand that Apple’s official company policy … is almost verbatim taken from the Iranian Transaction Regulations (ITR), specifically 31 C.F.R. § 560.204, and is in line with U.S. economic sanctions targeting Iran. However, at issue here is the correct application of that policy by Apple’s employees.”

Apple is in a tough place. They are trying to follow the Iranian Transaction Regulations laws, but the only way they can actually do that is to break the discrimination laws. Almost a no win situation for them.



  • al diba

    I think Apple’s discrimination and biased policy of not selling their products to CIVILIAN IRANIANS is not just and can not be implemented.
    Mullahs said the same thing when they came to power; do not buy any American products. But if they need it they get it anyway(through black market)


      Al Diba, your people will never be true Americans even if you have a Green Card. It’s not discrimination, go make ur own tablet from Iran and buy it. This is an American product, so we make the rules on who can buy or who cannot. Simple

    • Russell Vollmer

      Ali Baba the airlines do have one ay tickets….

    • Defiance

      Al Diba, I agree. The individual trying to purchase the product was American. Its clearly discrimination. Its funny that Iran has not invaded another country since the 1830’s and they are considered a threat, while my own country, USA, will invade any country for little to no reason and we are the “big brother, good and kind.” Iran must have something we want. Most of the elements of iPad are made in foreign countries anyway, so whats the big deal? And as you said, you can get anything you want on the black market, so its just USA flexing its muscles and spending taxpayer money on yet another failed policy.

  • TOm

    It’s no Apple’s policy, it US law. Do your research on this before reacting to it, if you have an issue with this it would be US law and not Apple you have an issue with.

  • benthefrog

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, and I hope the employee will be sacked! As an employee, the policy is to sell, not making judgements on who can buy and who can’t.
    That is not just discrimination, that is stupidity!