Iran has imposed a ban on imports of Apple phones into the country, shows a report published in the local media, amid plans by the government to control the use of hard currency resources at a time the country faces US sanctions.
The Sunday report by Tasnim news agency said that phone importers had been blocked from registering new orders for Apple phones when day referred to an online system run by the Iranian ministry of trade (MIMT) earlier in the day.
The report said that MIMT officials had confirmed that imports of Apple phones would remain banned until a further notice.
“The Apple mobile phone brand has been included in the Goods Category No. 27 since overnight and registering orders would not be possible for the time being,” said the report while referring to an MIMT list which identifies products whose imports into Iran are banned.
The report comes several weeks after lawmakers in the Iranian parliament put forward a motion to ban imports of mobile phones with a price tag of over $600 to restrict spending of foreign exchange resources for unnecessary purposes.
In a recent letter to President Ebrahim Raeisi, Iran’s trade minister Reza Fatemi Amin said that around $1 billion had been spent over the calendar year to late March on imports of Apple phones into Iran.
That comes as total imports of mobile phones with prices above $600 had amounted to $1.4 billion over the similar period.
Advocates of banning imports of Apple phones into Iran say that hard-won foreign exchange resources should not be spent on luxurious products.
They also believe that the ban would give Iran an opportunity to retaliate against the American sanctions.