Mere hours after Iran entered into an agreement to reduce their nuclear weapons capabilities in return for the U.S. and five other world powers dropping sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, Apple and other companies are actively exploring a return to the tech-starved country.
People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that Apple is in discussions with potential Iranian distributors to reopen sales channels in the region. Other big American corporations like Boeing and General Electric are also said to be investigating reentry or possible expansions to current sales operations.
The U.S. agreed on Tuesday to lift economic sanctions on Iran if the country temporarily reduces its ability to research and build nuclear weapons.
Apple’s products are highly desirable in the Middle Eastern nation, with a booming underground market making its products available to Iranians of means.
Back in 2013, President Obama pushed for a more relaxed stance toward Iran. Apple then announced that it would begin selling its devices to customers that had plans to take the devices back to Iran. Some observers saw Obama’s move as part of a U.S. plan to get such devices into the hands of citizens that were protesting against the Iranian government.
Last October brought news that Apple was in early stages of talks with Iranian distributors, and was exploring the possibility of having Iranian partners sell Apple products at so-called premium resellers. The outlets would be mid-size franchisees that would sell Apple products only, a model similar to the one the company has used in Europe and Asia.