No iPads Or iPhones For You, Apple Store Clerk Tells Iranians | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

No iPads Or iPhones For You, Apple Store Clerk Tells Iranians

Sahar Sabet of Alpharetta, Ga., says that when she was in an Apple store at the local North Pointe Mall last week to buy an iPad and an iPhone, she and her uncle were overheard by a clerk.

The sales rep asked what language they were speaking and where they were from. When they said they were speaking Farsi and originally from Iran, Sabet tells Atlanta's WSB-TV, the clerk's response was a shock:

"I can't sell this to you."

Though 19-year-old Sabet is a U.S. citizen, the clerk cited Apple's "export compliance" policy, which says in part that:

"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."

WSB-TV sent a reporter back to the store, and "obtained iPhone video of the same employee repeating the policy." It also heard from another Iranian-American that he too had been turned away at an Apple store in Georgia.

Sabet, the station adds, later got an apology from an Apple customer relations representative and was told that she could buy the iPad online. Still, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has "called on Apple to change its policy following reports of Farsi-speaking customers being denied service."

We, like several other news outlets, have asked Apple to comment on all this. So far, we haven't found any response from the company. We'll report back if it does comment. WSB-TV says Apple declined to respond to its requests, but did point to the corporate policy.

Update at 2:55 p.m. ET. No Comment, Apple Says:

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling just returned our call. He said the company is not commenting on the record about this case.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

At-Risk Salvadoran Youth Make Their Orchestral Debut At Kennedy Center

A youth symphonic orchestra and choir from a high-crime community in El Salvador made their American debut Monday with a performance at The Kennedy Center.
NPR

How Newbie Gardeners Can Safely Grow Food On Urban Land

More and more city dwellers are trying their hand at urban gardening. Most know to be wary of lead in their soil, but fewer are aware of how to avoid other types of contaminants.
NPR

Panned When It First Came Out, The Clinton Logo Is Saying Something Now

The Democratic presidential candidate's campaign logo was snickered at. But it's shown versatility, morphing to include backgrounds of Iowa, New Hampshire and, on Tuesday, to support gay marriage.
NPR

Report: To Aid Combat, Russia Wages Cyberwar Against Ukraine

Cyberwarfare is a hidden world with few documented examples. In a new report, security researchers detail digital attacks against Ukraine's military, and charge the Russian military as the hacker.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.