Obama Loosens Iran Sanctions so Ahmadinejad Can Buy an iPhone


Get this man an iPhone Stat

You know there are people out there who think that Obama doesn’t care. But that’s not true. Sure Obama doesn’t care whether Americans have jobs or whether Iran gets a nuke.

But Obama does care if Iranians don’t have the latest iPhone.

The United States was set to relax sanctions on Iran on Thursday to allow American companies to sell mobile phones, software and other technology used for personal communications to Iranians, two U.S. officials said.

The move, expected later on Thursday, will allow Iranians to get access to the latest Apple phones and newest software that have only been available on Tehran’s black market since sanctions were first imposed in 1992.

The easing of sanctions on technology may be an attempt by the U.S. government to develop goodwill with Iranian citizens before the Iranian national elections next month.

The U.S. government first eased some technology restrictions after the election in 2010, allowing U.S. companies to export to Iran some basic software and free Internet services such as chat and email.

But the move on Thursday goes further, allowing companies to sell software and hardware to Iranian citizens, Wendy Sherman, undersecretary for political affairs at the U.S. State Department, said in an interview on the BBC Persian service late on Wednesday.

“We have no desire to cut off communications,” she said in the interview, which first announced the looser rules. “We in fact want to encourage communications in every way we can.”

The English transcript from Sherman’s interview was provided by the National Iranian American Council, a non-profit group that has long urged the U.S. government to ease restrictions on Iran that hurt ordinary citizens but do little to hinder the government’s actions.

The NIAC is Iran’s lobby in the United States. Obama has appointed some people associated with it to important positions. One of them is Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

  • Jay

    You object to Iranians being able to buy iPhones? Kind of a lack of understanding of the modern world really. If you don't let Apple sell iPhones in Iran, the Iranians will be buying Samsung Galaxies instead. You would rather that a Korean firm gets the money than an American firm?

    • Naresh Krishnamoorti

      Moreover, it's young Iranians armed with mobile devices that are going to bring down that nasty regime.

    • SimonR

      Your argument is a joke! How many iPhones will Apple sell in Iran? The mullahs made this country poor – more people are concerned with buying food than iPhones. Besides the sanctions applied to Samsung as well. If US wanted it could pressure Korea and other allies not to sell technology to Iran. The only sensible argument is that using smart phones, the Iranian opposition may improve communications, but Iranian intelligence knows how to block it so it will have no effect.

  • Jay

    Right now, Apple is pretty much fighting for its life against Samsung's market assault. Currently Samsung is selling twice as many smartphones in China compared to Apple. Your desires for meddling in other countries is going to drive American firms bankrupt, not a result I think you would like.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Apple is doing quite well and somehow I don't think selling a few iPhones to Iran will make much of a difference to ti.

      This isn't about supporting Apple. It's about pandering to Iran.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Barack HUSSEIN Obama prefers the Sunni side, but in general he hearts with Islamists. To be sure, this is where the region is at: a fiery conflagration about to blow up on my doorstep! – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/05/30/war-drums-bla

    The "biting" sanctions were a means to string along the "negotiations" and to to jaw-jaw the regime to WMD status!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Faloodeh Bastani

    Why did they participate in the first place when other companies didn’t though? I’m Iranian American and in the market for a new phone to replace my HTC EVO 4G. I don’t like any of the phones that are out.. Samsung has that big screen, looks easy to crack. I’ve always been fond of BlackBerry but their OS is lame. iPhone would be an option but why would I want to give my money to a bunch of d-bags who participated in technology sanctions? It just wouldn’t feel right, despite the fact that most Iranian Americans have iPhones (how could they not, it’s a status symbol after all). I want the status symbol too but I’ll be damned if I give apple my money. It kind of leaves me with no good options. Samsung needs to get it together and make a trendier phone.