A news report out of Tehran late yesterday noted that in an ultimatum, Iranian officials asked Apple to either officially register in Iran or have its products banned. The Tasnim News Agency quoted the director of Iran's anti-smuggling office as having said on Sunday that "If Apple will not register an official representative in Iran within the next few days, all iPhones will be collected from the market."
For anti-smuggling purposes Iran has started a project, running under the president's office, to ban smuggled mobile phones. The scheme, which will start later this week, will require all new mobile phones to be registered with Iran's telecommunications user database. Any that are not will not be able to be used.
The office announced that former users of iPhones and other smuggled phones are excluded from this project.
Although it said that the project has received the cooperation of mobile operators, customs and the union of mobile phone sellers, some IT activists are criticizing the decision to potentially ban iPhones.
The head of the Tehran IT union told Tasnim News on Monday that "Collecting 40 million smartphones/mobile phones including iPhones will not be easy" while expressing concerns over the potential hacking of the telecommunications database.
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