back to article Apple desperate to prevent nightmare scenario of iPad in Iranian hands

An Apple Store in the US state of Georgia refused to sell an iPad to an American teenager because she spoke the Iranian language Farsi in the store. A student in the nearby city of Atlanta was also banned from buying an iPhone for the same reason, according to a report by local TV channel WSBTV. "I just can't sell this to you …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this for real?

    Only in the US of A.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Jeebus

        Re: Stupidity knows no borders.

        Hahaha, Symon that's awesome, that is one the dumbest, ill measured sack of crap rants anyone has written on this site, and Andrew Orlowski is an editor here.

      2. foo_bar_baz
        Thumb Down

        @Symon

        Ahem, chill pill needed by others too.

        1) "Only in USA" is not the same as "All Americans". While being an important center of cultural and scientific progress, it's also the promised land of extreme nutjobs and bigots.

        2) You can't deny the US has a recent history of security hysteria, Americans themselves being its biggest critics. Do I need to point you to "Security Theater", tazings, flight blacklists etc. ad nauseam?

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          @Symon

          "its citizens have won about a third of all Nobel prizes ever awarded"

          They were mostly immigrants, so it doesn't count!

          ;-P

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not to be outdone, Google joins in the fun by blocking Cuba from Analytics

      State-run website Cubadebate reports that attempts to access Google Analytics direct people to the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control website. Cubadebate also slams the move as "outrageous censorship," criticizing Google for blocking Analytics in addition to previous blocks on other tools like Google Earth, Google Toolbar, Google Desktop, and Google Code Search.

      http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/21/3105443/google-analytics-blocked-cuba-us-sanctions

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Will

      Apple survey online customers with an ethnic tick box survey just before you press the buy now button?

      'I'm sorry but your purchase has been declined on ethnic grounds.'

      We apologise for any inconvenience, please try again when we have become more enlightened.

    4. asdf Silver badge
      FAIL

      south of heaven

      >Only in the US of A.

      Yeah unfortunately not only were we stupid enough to not let the South US walk away like we should have in the mid 1800s (whats another 3rd world country to the south?) but we even gave them back the right to vote even after they committed the ultimate form of high treason. Even today many in the region care more about controlling the behavior of others than doing whats right for the country.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Apple..

    Team Apple: World Police.

    1. ItsNotMe
      Mushroom

      Re: Apple..

      Being that it is Georgia...chances are they find it difficult to sell to ANYONE who isn't "lilly white" anyway...regardless of what language they are speaking.

  3. My Alter Ego
    Facepalm

    My first thought was that you can't blame Apple for the actions of one sales employee. That the manager admitted this on camera - that's just plain stupid. It'll be interesting to see what Apple's official take is.

    1. ScottAS2

      This bit isn't required, though

      I was going to suggest what Apple's response (at least to El Reg) would be, but the forum software said "The post is required, and must contain letters".

      1. My Alter Ego

        Re: This bit isn't required, though

        Funny.

        I had a quick look around and according to her:

        "She called customer relations, received an apology, and bought the iPad online."

        So Apple's sorted it out the way it should and is now left with a PR disaster caused by two imbeciles. Better than the response she would have received from Jobs - "you're speaking the words wrong".

        1. Lamont Cranston
          Thumb Down

          "and bought the iPad online"

          Blimey - I might have accepted a free one as part of an apology, but I don't think I'd have been interested in carrying on with my purchase after that sort of treatment.

          Racism? It just works.

  4. mark1978

    The key phrase here is "export". Refusing to sell to someone based on their country of origin, certainly under UK law, is very much illegal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ditto

      Also illegal under Australian law, and probably all the relatively civilised countries.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ditto

        Which is why it's perfectly okay in the USA.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But this was in the USA and the US Treasury enforces conditions like that for individuals - even those resident in the USA - if it's suspected the purchase may end up being exported to a Iran or Syria.

      There's a lot of regulation concerning that see the page below for details:

      http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/iran.aspx

      For example a recent presidential order, signed by Mr Obama himself:

      http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/fse_eo.pdf

      I'm not saying that staff were correct, but not saying they were wrong either. I think only the US Treasury and OFAC will be able to provide an answer. Maybe Ms Leach could ask them?

      1. Robert Brockway
        Linux

        Prima facie evidence

        Is speaking a foreign language prima facie evidence of intent to export the device to a foreign country? If she had stood in the store and said "This will be great back in Tehran" then they might have had some justification for declining to sell under export restrictions but to do so merely as a result of using a foreign language is ridiculous.

    3. darkmage0707077
      Unhappy

      Last I read, it was illegal here in the US, too.

      And I was just getting used to Atlanta maybe not being THAT bad a place to live, maybe even starting to become a bit level headed for a southern state. *sigh*

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      It's people like that in the Apple store that I despise.

      Stupid. Ignorant. Dumb as all fuck.

      Mind you, the whole US export prohibitions are a farce anyway...

      Anyone could buy a suitcase full of them and just drive across the border.

      It's even worse that these are the very countries that the American corporate cartels are exporting "Peace and Democracy to the middle east" - with weapons, CIA plants, political and social destabilisation, and installing armies of occupation in...

      Then they say, "These countries are the (enemy) acting against US interests, by resisting being declared war on - for their oil.... and the toppling of their own popularly elected governments.

      Moron shop staff and moronically evil sanctions.

  5. VinceH Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    A new low

    I didn't think Apple could successfully do anything to make me dislike them anymore than I already did.

    I was wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A new low

      based on one incident by a redneck?, hum, you should get out more

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: A new low

        Based on "one incident by a redneck" where it's actually two incidents in two separate stores, and involving at least three Apple employees.

        If it really was just "one incident by a redneck" then that would suggest a stupid "Genius" - but that it's more than one incident in more than one store suggests the problem is higher up the chain. It might not be Apple's actual policy, but it's certainly a problem somewhere in Apple.

        1. AVee
          WTF?

          Re: A new low

          Who says 'redneck'? The real gem of the story is in this line:

          "The employee was from Iran, WSBTV said, which is why he was able to recognise the language as Farsi."

          If you're from Iran you are only allowed to sell iPhone, not buy them...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A new low

            That's just dumb. Almost makes me want to go out and buy one just to mail it there.

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Devil

    American + Apple Store Employee.

    The far end corner of the arrogance/ignorance/controlfreakery 3-D graph has been reached, captain.

  7. theloon
    WTF?

    Geo racial profiling?

    Happened in Atlanta. Would it happen in say.. NY or Palo Alto Apple stores? Some retraining needed here.

    Still totally unacceptable regardless of the location.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Geo racial profiling?

      Atlanta is pretty cosmopolitan thus the students with international backgrounds living there.

      Very weird making stores the gatekeepers though. That's what customs officials are for: person has electronic equipment with them? check boarding cards and massive database and follow instructions.

  8. Captain TickTock
    FAIL

    Simples...

    easy to get around this policy: get WASP fanboi friend to buy your kit for you.

    Oh wait, then they have to refuse to sell it to anyone, because anyone could potentially export it anywhere.

    iStasi - there's an app for that.

    1. Chris Parsons

      Re: Simples...

      Simples - it's so last year.

      Quoting catch phrases from adverts does not make you sound 'cool'.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    So...

    Do Iranian Apple Employees still get the staff discount on Apple products?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The employee was from Iran...

    How did that one slip past HR?

    1. Peter Storm

      Re: The employee was from Iran...

      Yes I wondered about that too. So going by their own policy, I'm assuming they wouldn't allow their own employee to buy an Apple product?

      1. Andy Hards
        Gimp

        Re: The employee was from Iran...

        I'm sure the employee swore allegiance to the fruit, I mean the flag, before becoming an employee.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: The employee was from Iran...

      I was just going to ask how the employee knew they were speaking Iranian, guess this answers it.

      1. emmanuel goldstein

        Re: The employee was from Iran...

        they were speaking Farsi. pedantic, I know but it's a bit like saying someone conversing in Hebrew is speaking Jewish.

        1. tybalt

          Re: The employee was from Iran...

          Surely a better analogy is saying someone conversing in Hebrew is speaking Israeli? Jewish is an ethnicity rather than a nationality. Iranians are mainly of Persian ethnicity (according to wiki).

          1. emmanuel goldstein

            Re: The employee was from Iran...

            lol - you are quite right. nothing worse than a pedant who gets it wrong!

  11. wowfood

    a new low

    This would be funny if it weren't so sad. It actually makes me want to visit america, just so I can buy some apple products, and then fly to iran to sell them.

    Filming it for youtube of course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a new low

      I hope someone does, that way these stupid export restrictions of the US of A would be shown to be a farce!

      1. Patorian
        Big Brother

        Re: a new low

        Not only the USA have export restrictions to a number of countries.

        I don't know where you live, but try to ship a computer from there to Iran and see how that goes. Your local authorities will most probably become quite anal about it (literally as well) or have you move up a couple on pages on their watch list for quite some time (hence the Big Brother icon).

        Don't forget that most of Iranian nuclear technology came from (illegal) exports from the Netherlands, while a lot of current tech leaders were trained in the USA (before 1979) and France ....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: a new low

          "I don't know where you live, but try to ship a computer from there to Iran and see how that goes."

          Not like the Iranians couldn't go shopping in Dubai or somewhere out that way where there is no export restriction though is it?

    2. PsychicMonkey
      Big Brother

      Re: a new low

      except then you'd be extridited and put on trial for providing them with something they could use for something....

  12. Purlieu

    Sue them

    She should sue Apple for racial abuse

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sue them

      What baffles me is why after all that she BOUGHT ONE ANYWAY. Stuff that - buy from a competitor and sue for racial harassment with the money you saved.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sue them @ac 1045

        Yes she still bought one because if you want iOS 5 you have to buy one. If you wanted a Samsung and they had said that to you, you could go buy an Asus or Motorola.

  13. Fihart

    Relies on honesty of customer.....

    Sort of chump legislation which led to US mattresses bearing a label with words to the effect "It is illegal to remove this label".

    Probably some pretty good reason to do with materials used, inflammability, or something.

    But laughable out of context.

  14. taxman
    FAIL

    Read the report.

    The young lady said "The iPad was to be a gift for her cousin who lives in Iran." So it was to be exported - contrary to current Administration thinking "A representative for the U.S. State Department told Viteri it is illegal to travel to Iran with laptops or satellite cellphones without U.S. authorization"

    That's not to say one could be successfully exported via another country.........Doh!

    1. Ru

      "Shabet says she lives in America and has no intention of exporting the device."

      1. taxman
        FAIL

        Which differs to " a report by local TV channel WSBTV." Follow the link given by El Reg and read what WSBTV reported.

        Looks like two variations on reporting. The WSBTV website and what El Reg has reported - not quoted.

  15. Doug Glass
    Go

    Screw 'em.

  16. Dan 55 Silver badge
    WTF?

    No export to Iran

    In Appleland (TM), that rule has been gold-plated to mean no selling to Iranians resident in the US, nationalised Iranians, or their descendents.

    However you can employ as many Iranians as you want who presumably can get into the store cupboard.

    After reading this story I think El Reg web needs to develop a new icon which combines downthumb, WTF, fail, sad face, devil, pissed-off, explosion, facepalm, hazard, Big Brother and fanboi.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No export to Iran

      That icon would ... look like a fruit someone has taken a bite from? ;)

    2. Andy Hards
      Happy

      Re: No export to Iran

      or just allow more than one to be used at a time. Could get pretty silly though.

  17. monkeyfish
    Holmes

    So all an actual iranian exporter has to do is *not* speak in farsi, they'll never think of that!

  18. James 100
    WTF?

    So, they keep that Iranian employee well away from all their stock in case he tries to get his hands on any? Right? ... Sounds very much illegal to me, anyway, hopefully someone like the ACLU will give Apple a good kicking there.

    Now, if only someone could make Apple UK replace the faulty fraying Magsafe power supplies like the US stores do - apparently they'll only admit it's a design fault if you live somewhere litigious.

  19. Steve Williams

    Blame the law...

    ...any US company is liable for high-tech products which are sold and subsequently exported to 'rogue' states. You can usually see exclusions in the T&Cs of sale.

    I worked for an American company in Europe some decades ago. We received an official directive from the legal department saying we shouldn't do any business with Libyan companies, which included filling up at the the local Tamoil petrol stations, which were Libyan co-owned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blame the law...

      No, this is interpretation. The law does not make any statements about the nationality of the buyer, only that it is illegal to export to certain countries. Interestingly, the question if it was for export (the sole condition) was never asked. This means you have indeed a case of racial profiling, and I'm interested in how Apple is going to answer/spin this as the actions of the employee are simply wrong.

      BTW, the US misses a trick here. Surely it would be of value to get a location-enabled device in the hands of the bad guys as it would reduce the collateral damage to a drone strike? On the other hand, I guess plenty of Android phones may already be doing that work, as Google is already set up with an NSA link (at least, that's what I read from the Chinese affair)..

      1. Annihilator
        Holmes

        Re: Blame the law...

        "BTW, the US misses a trick here. Surely it would be of value to get a location-enabled device in the hands of the bad guys as it would reduce the collateral damage to a drone strike?"

        Erm, you know that "the bad guys" doesn't equal "all Iranians", right? So giving a location-enabled device to an Iranian wouldn't help. I'm fairly convinced that drone operators know where Iran is, without relying on a local to carry a GPS device back to their country.

      2. Steve 129
        Big Brother

        Re: Blame the law...

        Not true. Unfortunately the export control laws are extremely broad and strict.

        Letting a foreign national even SEE prohibited technology is considered an export.

        It is not necessary to actually ship a physical piece of technology to a 'banned' country. Showing the technology to a foreign national of said banned country is enough. Even accidentally letting them glimpse it is illegal.

        This is a strict interpretation of the law. Should Apple follow it this religiously? Legally, yes and so should everyone. Is it practical? Probably not.

        I read an article about a company being fined for exporting paint to a company who subsequently sold a painted product for inclusion in a nuclear plant. Paint, for god sake !!!???

    2. Trollslayer Silver badge

      Re: Blame the law...

      I handled some export control and that advice was just plain wrong.

      It's like those that use health and safety to get out of doing something or simply have no idea.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait. No Apple products in Iran??

    Maybe I should consider moving there? Sure the place is like Mordor with minarets, but still... that's a relatively small price to pay for a fanboi free zone!

    1. Yag

      Fanboi free zone?

      you mean "Apple-fanboi free zone" I hope...

  21. TRT Silver badge
    Coat

    It's simply because...

    the country, the entire country, is in violation of Apple's trademarks and copyrights. They won't back down either; seems they haven't learnt from the example of iRaq.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: It's simply because...

      Bwahahaha - brilliant.

    2. Aleph0
      Thumb Up

      Re: It's simply because...

      This wins the thread hands down.

  22. g e
    FAIL

    Hahahaha

    That's a huge fail.

    On a scale of zero to Linked-in password storage that's right up there.

    Utter lunatic assclowns.

  23. JetSetJim Silver badge

    Meh

    They could just stick an IOS "feature" in that limits the functionality of the phone for a given range of GPS coordinates/MNCs if they really wanted to mess with Iran in that way.

    Stupid to have such retail restrictions for a consumer device, being purchased in consumer quantities.

  24. Jeebus

    Racial profiling now is it.

    It should be a shock, but the cynic in me knows Apple are only interested in white twenty somethings.

    The fact they would openly profile visitors to their stores is an insidious look into the core of Apple, condoned and forced policy from the big wigs, no "genius" would do that without coaching, nobody anywhere in any service industry would do it without direct policy.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Racial profiling now is it.

      only in 20-somethings?

      Really? By making tech products that are perceived as being simple to use, and charging a fair bit for them, it would seem that they are aiming just as much at the middle-aged baby boomer generation - they tend to have more money.

      1. Jeebus

        Re: Racial profiling now is it.

        That was my friendly way of avoiding saying they aim their products at c*nts and only c*nts buy them.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple forces change to national anthem

    It used to be - Land of the free and home of the brave?

    But have now forced the change to - Land of the Asshats and Home of the twats that humiliate young ladies.

    Way to go Apple!

  26. Jeebus

    Anon posts light this morning.

    Where are all the anon coward apologists now?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anon posts light this morning.

      > Where are all the anon coward apologists now?

      Sorry I am late.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No, I'm Anon.

        The post is required, and must contain letters.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No, I'm Anon.

          No, No, I'm Anon... And so is My Wife!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bigger picture

    It's not just Apple products that are banned for export to Iran / Cuba and North Korea. Dell has the same policy, as does HP and other manufacturers who use US components that are deemed within the legislation (e.g. Intel CPUs).

    I had a visitor from Iran wanting a laptop. It was ordered online from Dell, declaring that it would be exported. A call was received from Dell and they politely declined - stating the policy. I told the visitor and the solution was for them to go to PC World and buy a Sony Laptop - they did - the salesman was even told it would be exported to Iran and none of the paperwork required a declaration stating it would not be - he was most interested in selling a case and extended warranty (even though it was to be exported).

    There are computer trade shows in Iran - you can get what you want, kit is exported from the UAE, Kuwait and other nearby states. No one is going to build a supercomputer to simulate nuclear explosions using a bank of iPads - this sort of embargo is purely political, I doubt it has much positive effect - all it will do is irritate Iranians abroad who most probably don't like the regime in their country.

    1. M7S

      Re: Bigger picture

      "No one is going to build a supercomputer to simulate nuclear explosions using a bank of iPads"

      Well I dont expect that Sony saw this one coming either when they unleashed their games console on the world:

      http://phys.org/news/2010-12-air-playstation-3s-supercomputer.html

      which contains the quote "About the 33rd largest supercomputer in the world right now is the US Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) newest system, which has a core made of 1,760 Sony PlayStation 3 <snip> making it the fastest interactive computer in the entire US Defense Department. "

      And the article is only about a year and a half old. Who knows what devilment the fondleslab could unleash on the world if clustered in a similar way.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Bigger picture

        The PS3's Cell chip was always designed to be clustered, and the console originally allowed Linux to be run on it. Trouble is, the US DOD was buying the hardware, but not the money-making games. As if to rub it in Sony's face, you occasionally see DOD staff with an XBOX 360 controller in their hands...

  28. Rob Telford

    So was she exporting it or not?

    Reg report: "However, Shabet says she lives in America and has no intention of exporting the device."

    Linked TV station report: "The iPad was to be a gift for her cousin who lives in Iran"

    Unless she thinks that sending it to her cousin in Iran somehow doesn't count as exporting it to Iran?

    Sounds like the Apple Store employee probably made the right call if he overheard her saying she was sending it to Iran.

    1. Keep Refrigerated
      FAIL

      Re: So was she exporting it or not?

      "Sounds like the Apple Store employee probably made the right call if he overheard her saying she was sending it to Iran."

      Yeah, what a fscking hero...! Seriously what are you smoking? Should she be denied buying food and water if a supermarket employee overhears her talking about sending a packet of Reeces Pieces to her cousin in Iran? So trade embargoes are now in force on persons now?

      I guess the US doesn't need the ICE, CBP or Department of State because don't worry, sales assistants across America have their own private blacklist of who should be sold to and who shouldn't. If someone is exporting something from Apple that they bought, it must be legit right? - No need for a customs declaration or import/export duties - because it was already approved by an Apple sales assistant!!!

      Let's here it for the brave Apple store employee, and also those brave hero's who surf twitter all day monitoring and reporting tourrarists before they attempt to cross the border into the homeland.

  29. mark l 2 Silver badge

    No issue with buying an iPad / iPhone from here in the UK and taking it to Iran so its not like they can't get hold of Apple product in Iran, seems to be the usual stupid US policies that have been taken to the Nth degree.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No issue .... unless the US authorities notice in which case you may well be on the end of an extradition request.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      It works both ways... US citizens who want to smoke a Cuban cigar, for example. Of no strategic importance, it just needles people.

    3. Steve 129
      Big Brother

      Not true

      This is not true from Apple's perspective.

      Apple are based in the US hence the worldwide operations must adhere to US export control laws.

      This is true for all US based companies and all companies which have any presence in the US.

      It is illegal for a UK based Apple employee to 'export' to a foreign national from a 'banned' country.

      Note, this does not have to be a physical item, as knowledge is considered just as important as a physical item, so in theory even showing an iPad to a foreign national from Iran could be considered an 'export'

      Does it make sense? Not much. Is it practical? No. Is it the law? Yes.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think we need to put this into perspective - basically a drop in the ocean - you are always going to get perhaps overzealous employees sticking to the letter of the law / policies a bit too enthusiastically.

    If some companies selling 'reinforced' super(gun) pipeline tubes were bit more conscientious it could solve some problems! You can't really blame Apple for NOT selling - after all they make no profit and therefore do not benefit from the employees over-cautiousness.

    1. philbo

      @AC

      >you are always going to get perhaps overzealous employees sticking to the letter of the law / policies a bit too enthusiastically.

      Well, you know what they say about one bad Apple...

      1. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: say about ... Apple...

        Do you mean that it is

        ROTTEN TO THE CORE????..Excuse me while I slice up a cold red delicious.

  31. Bugs R Us
    Thumb Down

    Pay rise

    And these two are examples of the iStore employees that are to get up to 25% pay rise because Apple is worried they'll be poached by Microsoft? Apple, you can keep them.

  32. Tim Worstal

    Very strange

    Things might have changed but back when I was getting licences for military, nuclear and space stuff, there was one great big get out clause in the US regulations.

    If the product was generally available retail then no licence was ever required.

    So rad hardened chips for a satellite (yes, we did indeed ship those a few times to Russia) needed a licence. Same functionality without the rad hardening which could be bought off the shelf at Fry's did not.

    Top end SPARC machine needed a licence. x386 did not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very strange

      This have changed... check out the latest regulations:

      http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/iran.aspx

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why was the store employing an Iranian?

    "Everyone knows" that Iranians are terrorists, surely?

  34. foo_bar_baz
    Facepalm

    Syria on embargo list too

    St. Steve himself might have had problems buying an iPad.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargoes#Targeted_parties

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_jobs#Early_life_and_education

  35. Purlieu

    ... Google has an NSA link ....

    who'd have thought it

  36. Jeebus

    The interview.

    Apple "Genius":"Yeah, but they were brown and speaking something that wasn't american so it was logical that they are terrorists"

    Interviewer : "You do know American is just English yes?"

    Apple "Genius": "It's that talk which put a moslem, iranian, african, gay, jewish, black, brown, orange and possibly chinese man in the white house"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The interview.

      ?

      The staff member was Iranian himself- perhaps insecurity over his place in his adopted country made him more zealous than, say, a WASP employee might have been- and he overheard the shopper tell her dad, in Farsi, that the iPad was for cousin in Iran, which would violate the rules laid down by the government of the country he lived in. The rules state that the retailer is liable. He wants to keep his job, when there are not many jobs going begging.

      When the issue was escalated, it was rectified.

      If you give signs of not having read the thoroughly, you comment will carry less weight.

  37. Tank boy
    FAIL

    An old saying

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin.

    1. Snafu 2

      Re: An old saying

      I think that's the wrong way around..

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look

    The employee overheard her saying in Farsi she was buying it for her cousin in Iran.

    The employee was Iranian, so aware of the export restrictions to Iran, because you tend to be aware of things you consider injust, or weird, related to your own nationality.

    He told her they couldn't sell it if it was going to be exported to Iran, IT'S ILLEGAL FOR THEM TO KNOWINGLY SELL IT FOR THAT PURPOSE.

    Not sure exactly what he was supposed to do really, what are we suggesting?

  39. John A Blackley

    To all the 'only in the USA' geniuses

    of course Britain is famous for its complete lack of nitwits, f**ktards and jobsworths.

    1. John A Blackley

      Re: To all the 'only in the USA' geniuses

      to the one who gave me the thumbs down - which are you, a nitwit, a f**ktard or a jobsworth?

  40. toadwarrior
    FAIL

    The link in the article says it was a gift for a cousin in iran which would be illegal. So either the reg is relying on poor sources or not reading their sources.

    Either way that's shoddy work.

  41. MooseNC
    Stop

    Blah, where are the fact checkers?

    "Shabet says she lives in America and has no intention of exporting the device."

    INCORRECT.

    She was attempting to purchase the product to gift to a cousin in Iran. You cannot export to Iran!!! This isn't a simple anti-Arab thing, it's a FEDERAL LAW.

    Welcome to America. Cry and whine when you attempt to violate federal law and everyone will feel sorry for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blah, where are the fact checkers?

      This isn't a simple anti-Arab thing.

      Iranians aren't Arabs. Thanks for showing your stereotypical American ignorance.

  42. SkippyBing Silver badge

    Just checking

    But it's still okay to make iPads, Dell PCs, etc. in China though. I mean it's not like they've given the Iranians any help in the making high-tech weapons area...

  43. Fatman Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    The REAL reason why...

    is because the fondleslab could be used to expose sensitive sheltered Iranians to all of the decadent and evil things that go on in the rest of the world. You forget that Iran is largely a Muslim country. How are the Iranians supposed to keep the `little ones` eyes from seeing such perversion as Madonna showing her nipples???

    Someone's got to say it: "Think of the children!"

    OK el Reg, how about an Ayatollah icon, or would that be blasphemy?

    Paris, because, well, she would just cause so much consternation for those fundamentalists.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's the USA... land of the brave, home of the paranoid.

    I once tried to buy a replacement car charger for my Garmin Nuvi direct from Garmin. I received a response that my order had been cancelled as federal regulations prohibited its export.

    I live in Canada... you can buy the charger in BestBuy.

  45. Jason Tan
    FAIL

    A beautiful thing.

    The really beautiful thing was that the employee who refused to sell the iPad tot eh Farsi speaker, could recognise Farsi, because they were from Iran.

    So you can sell a single iPad to someone with possible Iranian connections, but it's OK to leave someone who is actually from Iran in charge of the store...?

    Ah, America, it'sa beautiful thing.

  46. ICDeadPpl
    WTF?

    Damn cookies

    What's the deal with having to accept cookies EVERY time I visit this site?

    If I choose to accept the using of cookies on your site, please USE the cookies to STORE that preference!

    It's retarded not to use cookies for one of their intended use, storing preferences.

    It's OK (and mandatory, I guess) to ask a visitor the first time they come to the site, but PLEASE stop bugging returning visitors every time!

    There's a handy property of cookies, expiry time, which can be set to everything from 1 minute to 365 days, for example.

    I suggest 30 days, if 365 days sounds too much...

    1. PsychicMonkey
      FAIL

      Re: Damn cookies

      are you perhaps clearing them? I click yes once and it hasn't bothered me since...

  47. Nameless Faceless Computer User
    FAIL

    yea right

    1) There's a difference between an export restriction vs. a retail restriction.

    2) In the past, Apple has paid shoppers to stand in line and make it appear they were having difficulties buying the latest gizmo.

    3) Myself, I have personally experienced being turned down by an individual store to purchase a popular product. I walked out and purchased it elsewhere. No tears. No news stories. No drama.

    4) Waiting a few weeks or a few months often resolves out-of-stock or unavailable "issues."

  48. CitizenX1
    Thumb Up

    The employee was correct

    Export regulations govern sending items like this to some countries, Iran included.

    In 1981 while I was selling computers with the Byte Shop NW (with the Terrell brothers who ordered the first 50 Apple II's), I had a customer from the Peoples School of Forestry in Nanking China who wanted and Atari800. I had to investigate the export rules (I needed clearance) and we actually started the permit process to get permission for them to take it. It was taking too long so the customer, who knew a ships captain had that captain take it in his cabin.

    The employee should be commended for being aware of the law and being a "good employee" and protecting her employers interest.

  49. Moggin the ice dragon

    Come to the UK. You can buy as many as you like.

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