Apple Store Refuses To Sell To American Citizens Speaking Farsi In Case They Might Send iPhone To Iran

from the policy-is-policy dept

This is just bizarre. Apparently, an Iranian-born American citizen who was speaking Farsi was denied the ability to buy an iPad and an iPhone because store employees cited an Apple policy barring the export of Apple products to Iran.
Jafarzadeh, who is from Virginia, said no one asked him where the phone was going. The employee only questioned his ethnicity.

"I feel like this is a bit of racial profiling against Iranians and I'm appalled," Jafarzadeh said.
It certainly sounds like Apple might want to train some of its employees a bit better in understanding what "export" means. And maybe Apple employees should also be made aware of the fact that American citizens can speak Farsi.

Filed Under: apple store, farsi, ipad, iphone, iranian-american, virginia
Companies: apple

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  1. identicon
    kenichi tanaka, 21 Jun 2012 @ 2:52am

    This is a case where Apple could actually get into trouble over this. ITAR only prohibits the exporting/sales of merchandise involving technology or electronics TO other countries currently on the prohibitive list of countries. Nowhere in ITAR does it say that companies can deny the sales of "said" merchandise to American-born or naturalized American citizens currently having legal status to live in the United States.

    Since when does Apple get to rewrite the rules regarding ITAR? I suspect that Apple is going to get embroiled in a very expensive lawsuit for discriminating against this customer just because the customer was speaking Farsi.

    What if I walked into an Apple store. I'm white, born here, I'm descended from Native Americans and I have Polish Ancestry, Austrian and European descent and if I happened to be speaking Farsi, would Apple refuse to sell me an iPhone?

    Apple should be ashamed of themselves for refusing to sell their products to someone who's actually an American. They had no justification to refuse to sell the item to this customer and it's clearly a case of discrimination and racial profiling.

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