Update: Several readers have noted that Vaghaye Gostar Fars claims to be the first to receive approval from the government in Iran to import Apple products following the sales ban, but is not necessarily officially associated with Apple. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.
Following the U.S. government lifting a United States embargo for exports of products into Iran on May 30th of last year, reports from Fars News Agency and other local publications note the first company has now been granted permission by authorities in the country to start selling Apple products (via zoomit.ir). Iran’s Industry, Mines, and Trade ministry has approved a third-party reseller in the country reportedly called Vaghaye Gostar Fars that will be the first importer of Apple products following the sales ban.
Up until now, Iranians have been forced to purchase Apple products making their way to unofficial stores from the Middle East and surrounding regions via the black market. In 2012, Reuters ran a story detailing the approximately 100 stores in Iran’s capital of Tehran alone selling Apple products brought illegally into the country.
Last year Apple updated its website to reflect the U.S. government’s decision to lift the export ban, and at the time Apple commented that it is “no longer banned from selling Macs and iOS devices to customers who plan to bring or send those products to Iran.” Apple’s full original comment from the lifting of the sales ban is below:
“We’ve been told by the U.S. government that most Apple products are covered by regulatory changes announced by the Treasury Department,” she said, referring to a decision to ease restrictions on selling a broad array of communications equipment such as smartphones, laptops and computer software to Iran. “As a result, Apple is no longer banned from selling Macs and iOS devices to customers who plan to bring or send those products to Iran,” she said.