Apple Store Turns Down Customer Speaking Farsi

Refuses to sell iPad because of sanctions on Iran


WSBTV: An Alpharetta woman and one of her friends say the Apple Store turned them away after they heard them speaking Farsi. One was trying to buy an iPad, the other an iPhone. When they were heard speaking the foreign language, they said the sales representative refused to sell them anything. Apple says it's simply following U.S. policy.

"Very hurtful, very embarrassing. I actually walked out in tears," Sahar Sabet said about the experience. Sabet is a U.S. citizen. Like most 19-year-olds, the University of Georgia student is never far from her iPhone. So she was surprised Thursday when an employee at the Apple Store inside North Pointe Mall in Alpharetta refused to sell an iPad to her and her uncle after overhearing them speaking Farsi.

"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. "I would say if you're trying to buy an iPhone, don't tell them anything about Iran. That would be your best bet," said Zack Jafarzadeh, who had a similar experience at the Apple Store in Perimeter Mall.

Jafarzadeh said he was helping a friend buy an iPhone. That friend was from Iran, living and studying in the Atlanta area on a visa. "We never talked about him going back to Iran or anything like that. He was just speaking full-fledged Farsi and the representative came back and denied our sale," Jafarzadeh said.

Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri went with Sabet to the North Point Apple Store Monday. They obtained iPhone video of the same employee repeating the policy. He reiterated (the policy) always will be to not sell to anyone from Iran. A manager showed Viteri Apple's policy. It said the exportation, sale or supply from the U.S. to Iran of any Apple goods is strictly prohibited without authorization by the U.S. government. The manager also told Viteri they have to rely on customers to be honest.

"Discrimination. Racially profiled. He didn't have any business asking me what country I was from," Sabet said >>>




Dear RB: Let me see if I understand your meaning correctly…

by Bavafa on

Are you implying that we ,I, (so I have spoken for myself only) should live in a place that I fully and 100% agree with its policy otherwise I should move?


Could it be that I can choose to live in a place and within the frame of law in that land, freedom of speech in this case, use my influence and opinion to improve the condition and society I live in?


Can you envision what US of A would have looked like now if everyone had followed your prescription?  Would the black still have to ride on the back of busses?

 The argument of either take it (dry or wet) with the ease or move out is a tried and failed argument


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 




by fidelio5 on

southerners are a bunch of under educated, bible thumping, hillbillies.

their accents make me CRINGE. Everytime I hear that drawl i think double digit IQ.

shocking that the response from apple was: "oh you can buy our product online!"

why wasn't that employee fired immediately?!


A question for all

by Reality-Bites on

Or at least those that have chosen reside in the US of A. How come some of you get mad at Apple (or at least that particular Apple employee - however misguided his reasoning is) for refusing to serve an Iranian customer, because of the sanctions, when you otherwise seem perfectly happy living in the very country that has enacted the sanctions behind all this?


Iranian Americans:

by MeyBokhor_Manbarbesuzan on

Iranian Americans: Oh, I am sorry you raped me. it must be somehow my fault.


US Citizens

by Raoul1955 on

Speaking Farsi in the US?   They should be 'helped to return' to Iran where they can easily 'assimilate' into the Farsi-speaking community and where they won't be refused service and treated with respect and dignity.


tooth-less Iranian-Americans….

by Bavafa on

This is probably a good case to show how toothless/spineless we Iranians are in our new home.   Most other minorities in US who have far better organization and unity would quickly respond to this whether rogue sales person or rogue policy and perhaps both and show with their $$$$ how stupid this policy is.

  My next apple product will be an Android.


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 


Soosan Khanoom

The Intelligent non troll user ID,

by Soosan Khanoom on

So, do you spell it beenz instead of beans ?   Besides, you should be thankful that i have upgraded you to benz ... 

Can you explain Troll?  Does it not include people who come out of no where to only call someone else a Troll?   

No worries ... no apology is needed!

You do not get it anyway!





Is this worse than sanctions on civilian aircrafts spare parts?

by aynak on


First, this is either the law or it is not.   If it is, then we should question the law makers for making such stupid law.   iPhone can be easily obtatined in HongKong or other countries.    But is it any worse than sanctions on civilain aircrafts spare parts, which is currently imposed on the Iranian people?  Like the regime gives a damn about civilians?  So it is really imposed on Iranian people, because the spare parts for military aircraft of regime are routinely purchased in black market.   But they use sanctions to justify lack of maintainance on civilian aircrafts.   (BTW, as a part of G6 negotiation, they were offering to lift sanctions on civilian spare parts!!).


But if it is not the law, then it is either Apple's policy or that individuals own bias.   If Apples policy I can see $$$ all over this.  This is U.S.A and a company can not discriminate based on this, but I highly doubt Apple would make such policy on its own.   Finally, if it is the individual (again I doubt it, because  he responded the same even in presence of T.V crew), he would get a pink slip in no time.

I think the same way we do not want to be associated with policies of Islamic Regime we should also understand some of the policies of U.S is not defensible and rather than calling it "Stupid Americans" which many of us fall into that category, Iranian-American is as much American as the rest of American, do not forget :) we should call it what it is:   Stupid policy.

In the interim, please consider purchasing an Android. :)








Waiting on an intelligent response...

by Coolbeenz on

Soosan khanoom, I'm sorry. I should have known better than to engage in a conversation with you. I now realize you are nothing more than a Troll, looking to inflame others with silly comments. I'm glad I rendered you speechless with my questions, since all you could do was respond with more ignorance. I hope you enjoy your "french fries" you are so obssesed with. Let me know when you have an intelligent response. P.S. How typical of you to read "beenz" (beans) as benz, now I know what your damage is. 



by jmyt17 on


In :

USA,Tehran Dubai or ????

Soosan Khanoom

Faramarz , azizam

by Soosan Khanoom on

We better pack for the concentration camps !!


: ) 


Soosan Khanoom

Oh geez, I have just been sarcastic ...

by Soosan Khanoom on

Laughing my butt off now ...

Although it is good to see some silent readers come out and post .... But it is sad to see them posting only when they are denied French Fries?  Now you tell me, where have you been while the poor and ordinary Iranian people are being subjected to the tight sanctions and war on the daily basis?... What have you done for them?  

Still good to see you coolbenz .…and I hoping that one day Coollamborghini shows up as well and enlighten me.


: ) 


دلم برات کباب شد سوسن خانوم!



You have really suffered a lot in this country!


Just because some ignorant sales clerk made a mistake about an export policy, it doesn't mean that people should start beating their chests here.

When someone asks a US citizen where they are from, you can either say, "None of your business", or you tell them the city where you live.

More than anything, this is a misunderstanding that could have been resolved with a smile and a little patience. Unlike in Iran where the person would have been detained and tortured and kept in solitary confinement until he confessed to being a US spy!


Really Soosan Khanoom??

by Coolbeenz on

Soosan khanoom, I'm pretty confused: " What the hell are they doing here anyway?" Am I to assume you are American? Or Native American? Or...what? As I highly doubt you are Native American, and from your name would assume you are in fact Iranian, I do not understand why you would not be among the group you assume should not be here anyway (in other words, what the hell are YOU doing here?!?). Beyond that point, ignorance across the board will not accomplish anything.  Do you really think discrimination and prejudiced against Iranians in the US will actually help people in Iran?!?! Do you think hatred towards Iranians in America will cause the sanctions to be removed? Backwards thinking is what got our country here in the first place, I'd like to know what YOU are doing to help our people besides spewing hatred.

Soosan Khanoom

Maziar jan

by Soosan Khanoom on

Iran is not just a geographical location.  Or a habitat with VF and his camel as the only population.  Iran has people, ordinary people like you and me, who live there. If they are going to suffer because of sanctions then why not us?   

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

The Manager and his Rep. needs to take English ESL first.

It says TO IRAN....

Not an Iranian.

those cotton pickers,peanut baggers of GA.


Soosan Khanoom

Well is about time for

by Soosan Khanoom on

Well, is about time for the Iranian Americans to get a dose of their own medication that most are prescribing  for the poor Iranian people who live inside Iran.  I am talking about sanctions.    Oh yes baby, tight sanctions on all Iranians even those who are  born to the iranian parents and live in the states.  What the hell are they doing here anyway?  Hope sanctions such as this will eventually force them to go to the street of Iran and  get rid of IRI. Thanks Apple. May this starts a chain event of sanctions against the Iranian Americans!!   I can't wait being denied French Fries at the Burger king.



These people are just stupid!

by Souri on

Apple is Stupid!

They don't know the law and they don't know how and where it is applicable!

Shame on those stupid Americans!