Users in Iran have lost access to Apple’s App Store. Iranian residents have lost the ability to connect to and download apps from the Store since around Noon GMT on Thursday.
Users were not able to connect to the Apple App Store to install or update applications. When visiting the App Store, they were instead greeted with the message “The App Store is unavailable in the country or region you’re in”.
This ban appears to be IP-based. Meysam Firouzi —an Iranian security researcher— told Bleeping Computer that he successfully connected to the App Store while using a VPN, despite having Iran-related details set on his account.
Apple has not formally announced any ban on Iranian users, and has so far not responded to requests for comment. The store does not have an official Iranian App Store, and has in the past banned apps created by Iranian developers due to U.S. sanctions against the country. Apple is not allowed to sell hardware or software in Iran.
@AppStore why is Iran blocked from the list of countries able to download or update the applications which are available for all the world?We are also human and we pay for your products. We should be able to use App Store!
— Sina Keshavarz (@Sina_Dreamer) March 14, 2018
Earlier this month, a NY Daily News article said a report by the National Council of Resistance to Iran (NCRI) claimed Iranian intelligence services were publishing their own apps on the Google Play and Apple’s App Store “to monitor the activities of their people and to export malware for cyberattacks against the American people.”