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Iranian-American woman says Apple refused to sell her an iPad

21 June 2012 Yahoo News 31 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Iranian-American woman says Apple refused to sell her an iPad

19-year-old Sahar Sabet says an Apple Store in Georgia refused to sell her an iPad after a store representative overheard her speaking in Farsi.

“Very hurtful, very embarrassing. I actually walked out in tears,” Sabet told WSBTV about her experience.

When a reporter from the station returned to the same Apple Store with Sabet, the employee once again reiterated that it is Apple company policy to not sell products to anyone from Iran. The WSBTV reporter recorded video of the exchange on her phone.

Sabet is a U.S. citizen and a student at the University of Georgia but the iPad was to be a gift for a cousin living in Iran.

“When we said ‘Farsi, I’m from Iran,’ he said, ‘I just can’t sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations,'” Sabet said.

The employee showed them Apple’s corporate policy on export sales, which reads:

PROHIBITED DESTINATIONS

The U.S. holds complete embargoes against Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria

The exportation, reexportation, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a U.S. person wherever located, of any Apple goods, software, technology (including technical data), or services to any of these countries is strictly prohibited without prior authorization by the U.S. Government. This prohibition also applies to any Apple owned subsidiary or any subsidiary employee worldwide.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a statement after the incident, calling on Apple to change its corporate policy on sales to Iran.

“Apple must revise its policies to ensure that customers do not face discriminatory treatment based on their religion, ethnicity or national origin,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “If the actions of these Apple employees reflected company policy, that policy must be changed and all employees retrained.”

Sabet says she later called Apple’s corporate customer relations, where an employee reportedly apologized and told her she could buy an iPad online.

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31 Comments »

  1. If Iran stopped pursuing WMD and violating their treaty obligations, then there would be no reason to embargo. Blame the ayatollah, not Islamophobia.

  2. Justin, but she is born in the US, her roots are Iran, what is her mistake?

  3. Justin, Iran has the right to pursue whatever the fuck it wants to pursue. If America can do it, then so can Iran. Your exceptionalism is sickening. This is why the rest of the world hates America.

  4. Justin, Iran has the right to pursue whatever the fuck it wants to pursue. If America can do it, then so can Iran. Your exceptionalism is sickening. This is why the rest of the world hates America.

  5. This is bad, but no worse that ignorant people saying that non-muslims can’t read or touch the Quran

  6. Surely the problem is not so much to do with Apple or the Apple employee but America’s foreign policy? If the iPad was t’ be sent to a cousin in Iran is it not a legal requirement that it should not be sold?

  7. Soon enough they’ll say, ” Apple do not sale to Muslim.” Mashallah, it seems like holocaust all over again. This is becoming scary.

  8. regardless of whether that person is a relative or Islamic.

  9. She is a US Citizen. What, her money isnt green because she is Iranian American? Stupid Apple. Not all American are like this Zainab. Just because there are a few bad apples doesnt mean the while bushel is bad as well.

  10. *whole*

  11. “Apple shares fell $2.96 to $584.85 in Wednesday trading and continued to drop to $584.82 in midday trading Thursday.” …They fully deserve that and more.

  12. >Embargo.

    Okay…

    >Apple store in Georgia

    … Umm…

    Justin Parrott, I think you completely missed the point. If I was asking Apple to ship me something /to/ Iran, that’d be violating the Embargo. However, the Embargo means fuck-all if I LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES.

  13. >Embargo.

    Okay…

    >Apple store in Georgia

    … Umm…

    Justin Parrott, I think you completely missed the point. If I was asking Apple to ship me something /to/ Iran, that’d be violating the Embargo. However, the Embargo means fuck-all if I LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES.

  14. My Justin, you sure ate up that plate of shit Uncle Sam served you for lunch, perhaps you would like another serving?

  15. Either Justin didn’t read the article (and being foolish) or he’s just being foolish.

    I don’t care if the person is on vacation from Iran visiting the United States somehow. She can still buy an iPad. Though, at least this scenario I use as an example would be a valid reason to say no to selling.

    However, in this case, she LIVES IN THE UNITED STATES. She’s an American Citizen. This is wrong. This is against the law.

  16. So we have an embargo against Iran and we are now, in this forum, trying to figure out how to send things to a country it is against the law to send certain items to. Since there is a law that forbids export of these items to Iran should the young lady buy the Ipad and put it in the mail to Iran? If she does and the package is opened in customs should the young lady be arrested or should they simply take the Ipad? People are right the girl can buy an Ipad as she is a US citizen but the store did her a favor by telling her she can’t send one to Iran. In the story it seems she told the clerk the Ipad was going to be sent to Iran. If I was the clerk I would not have sold the Ipad to the young lady unless she told me the Ipad was for her and not to be sent overseas. At that point I would have sold it to her and let officals deal with her if she decided to send it anyway. Just because you do not like the law does not mean it should not be followed.

    Here is a follow up question. A man wants to buy a container of gas, the clerk at the store says you going to mow your yard? The man says no Im going to douse my children and set them on fire in order to protect them from people that may abuse them. Do you sell him the gas as he is an american citizen? or do you refuse to sell him the gas and call the police? The man has broken no law he has only expressed a desire to break the law with a product you are about to sell him. The young women did the same thing, she was attempting to buy a product for an illegal purpose.

  17. The customer is American. Her ethnic origin shouldn’t have mattered. The policy is probably aimed at preventing the export or Apple products to those countries.
    I don’t think it is meant to prohibit sales to individuals.
    BTW– that customer may not have been Muslim. She could have been Baha’i , Jewish, or Assyrian Christian.

  18. not sure how hardcore this embargo can be. i’m sure there are many iphones in iran already. not like it is a supercomputer that can run nuclear testing scenarios. speak of which good news. we have reclaimed top supercomputer status. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/18/ibm-sequoia-worlds-fastest-supercomputer_n_1606726.html
    i was worried about that joint venture somoli/afghan computer, the taliban pirate.

    “Sabet is a U.S. citizen and a student at the University of Georgia but the iPad was to be a gift for a cousin living in Iran.” so is she breaking the embargo. she might want to watch what she says. might get a knock on the door.

    also can anyone explain this logic to me?

    ““Very hurtful, very embarrassing. I actually walked out in tears,” Sabet told WSBTV about her experience.” what was embarrassing about it? there where other people around. she didn’t want them to see that she was denied a phone. but she calls a tv station to tell them she was denied a phone? i’m embarrassed but please broadcast my embarrassment to the world.

    and what kind of podunk tv station is this. i realize it’s georgia but really? “The WSBTV reporter recorded video of the exchange on her phone”. they don’t have actually tv cameras?

  19. Mazhar Pathan,

    “Justin, but she is born in the US,” where does it say that?
    “her roots are Iran, what is her mistake?” well if she told him she planned on sending it to iran, that is her mistake.

    or saying “I’m from Iran,” was her mistake.

    Jeremy Neil,

    “I don’t care if the person is on vacation from Iran visiting the United States somehow. She can still buy an iPad.” maybe not. have you read the embargo? it may very well be illegal for her to send it to iran. she maybe the one breaking the law? and if she had told the clerk of her intentions to send it to iran, the clerk may have a legal responibility not to sell it to her. i don’t know. just saying.

    speaking of people jumping to conclusions when it comes to iranians. anyone have an update on the californian-iranian beaten to death? are we all still sure it was because she wore a hijab?

  20. Justin, the US don’t embargo countries persuing WMD and ignoring their treaty obligations – who are allies. Those things don’t come into it – or else Israel would be embargoed.

    I was gonna unload on you – but then I saw your profile… u must be a peacenik – so you can’t really be knocked…

  21. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Executive_Order_12613

    “Sec. 4.
    The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the Federal Government. All agencies of the United States Government are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this Order, including the suspension or termination of licenses or other authorizations in effect as of the date of this Order.”

    “rules and regulations” perhaps one of the rules is that if a business knowningly sells a product that is intended to break the embargo, their license maybe suspended. “the suspension or termination of licenses”.

    sorry to be repundant. i skipped ccc’s comment. ccc, i was just typing out a cenerio of buying a gun at walmart. if the cleark asks what are you a hunter, and i say no i’m going to kill my wife. also i was thinking the clerk was doing her a favor. knowing it would be confiscated at custom. but i think the facebook people wouldn’t understand. that should scare you that we think alike.

  22. The Media has sunk the case of the Iraqi/Cal lady, last I read the daughter and her bf are under suspicion. Tragic. instead of just eloping they kill the mom, how crazy is that.

    Wonder if they will resume covering the case at all.

  23. The US only embargoes “enemies” who have WMD and who violate treaties, deny human rights, and/or kill civilians. It’s just politics as usual. Thats why Saudi gets a free pass, and Iran doesn’t.

  24. The girl is an idiot. If it’s banned; it’s banned.
    And the next idiot prize goes to anon, criley401 and mike.

    You take an idiot and make it a representative the whole people, race and religion. Its not. And not only this case and but in others as well you keep doing this.

    You guys are nothing but troublemakers. You guys come in all shapes and sizes. Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Wicca whatever… White, brown, black and any other color under the sun.

    99% of the people in the world would get along but for jackasses like you who stir up trouble and cause problems around the world. You guys chock full in government and bureaucratic agencies. Jackasses who can’t shit but will shit on everyone else.

  25. It’s not that muslims have crazy bad people. It’s that they have no control over their crazy bad people, many of whom presume to be clerics, scholars, etc.

    Indeed, many of the non overtly aggressive muslims support the crazies and would apparently would like them to kill large numbers of unbelievers and the wrong kind of muslims while they keep their own hands clean.

    That leads to people blaming not only the muslims but Islam itself.

  26. //M

    I am shocked and dismayed by your comments. I will have you know that I successfully defecated just minutes before I read your post. In the process I was very adept at not exposing anyone else to my fecal matter while disposing of it properly. Other than that all I can say about your comment is that I do have a particular shape and size thus you are wrong about me being all shapes and all sizes. As to Mike and Annon I have very little information except that Mike played an inflatable dummy in the movie Airplane and thus does come in all shapes and sizes depending on his level of inflation. I disdain to respond to any of your other accusations as it makes my head hurt to think too much in any particular period of time.

  27. hey hey it’s BiggumsT!

  28. m,

    wow, ieght.

    “You take an idiot and make it a representative the whole people, race and religion. Its not. And not only this case and but in others as well you keep doing this.” when have i ever done that?

    “You guys are nothing but troublemakers. You guys come in all shapes and sizes. Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Wicca whatever… White, brown, black and any other color under the sun. 99% of the people in the world would get along but for jackasses like you who stir up trouble and cause problems around the world. You guys chock full in government and bureaucratic agencies. Jackasses who can’t shit but will shit on everyone else.” well thank you for thinking we three little pigs have the power to create all the troubles of the world. how is it divided up amounst us? anon and criley are clearly responsible for the palistinian/israeli conflict. and their christian friends must also be the causeof all of africa’s wars. in the spirit of the moonroe doctrine i’ll claim the entire western hemisphere as my sphere of influence. who would you blame for asia? north korea, and burma, tibet?

    btw i had my usual morning movement at it’s usual time. i’m quite regular, but thanks for your concern as to the functioning of my digestive system. it is a terrible design often prone to malfunction, but mine is functioning in tip top shape.

  29. Iran has been under sanctions since 79. after they took our embassy staff and held them hostage for 444 days. they have been losened and tighten over the years for various reasons. they are currently being tightened becasue of our concern with their enrichment program.

    Zak Khan,

    “the US don’t embargo countries persuing WMD and ignoring their treaty obligations – who are allies. Those things don’t come into it – or else Israel would be embargoed.” you do know that israel is not a signature to the NPT. iran is. plus like i said, iran was already under embargo.

  30. Hey Hey HI BiggumsT we all welcome your presence. Well Annon does not welcome your presence as he simply does not like you.

  31. Despite the fact that Iran hasn’t attacked anyone in an act of war for quite a while…decades, maybe even centuries.

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