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Google and Apple to offer devices, software in Iran

Staff writer |
Google said that Android developers may start offering free apps in Iran. At the same time, Apple has removed Iran from among the countries to which sales of its products are prohibited.

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"Developers, starting today you can make your free apps available in Iran," Google wrote on its Google+ page. The move comes after the federal government decision in May to lift sanctions on the export of a number of consumer devices, software and services, including mobile phones to Iran.

Exports of certain devices to Iran had been blocked since the 1990s but the U.S. decided, just before presidential elections in Iran in June, that its new license would empower the Iranian people. However, the export of equipment to the Iranian government or to any entity on a Specially Designated Nationals list, however, continued to be prohibited.

The products, software and services now authorized for export to Iran include mobile phones, personal digital assistants, satellite phones, computers, consumer network equipment, anti-tracking software, anti-censorship tools, virtual private networks, proxy tools and voice-over-IP and video chat tools.

Google said that the new distribution option for developers is currently available only for free apps and not for priced apps or apps that use in-app billing. The new general license authorizes financial transactions related to the products it covers, said the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.


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