Tehran may ban iPhone sales if Apple doesn’t officially register in Iran

In an ultimatum, Iranian officials asked iPhone manufacturer Apple Inc. to either officially register in Iran or have its products banned, according to Tasnim News, a local news agency — as noted by The Japan Times.

“If Apple will not register an official representative in Iran within the next few days, all iPhones will be collected from the market,” the article quotes the director of Iran’s anti-smuggling office as saying.

More than 40 million Iranians use smartphones, including millions of iPhones, which are often imported into the country by smugglers. A representative from the anti-smuggling office told Tasnim News that there’s no legal limitation to Apple registering a store in Iran.

The Iranian government plans implement a country-wide mobile phone registry in conjunction with cellular operators, telecommunications unions and resellers that requires all cellphones be registered with a central database prior to use. Since Apple isn’t recognized as a legitimate business, its products cannot be registered under the new guidelines unless it officially registers as such.