Apple should consider revising its policy on product embargoes

Apple’s creation of the iPad was brilliant; Apple’s decision to not sell an iPad to an American woman because she spoke Farsi was not.

An Apple Store in Alpharetta, Georgia, refused to sell a woman an Apple product after they overheard her speak Farsi, the language of Iran, a country Apple has an embargo against. 

The problem is that the 19-year-old woman was a U.S. citizen, and as a citizen, there is no reason as to why she cannot buy Apple products.

Although it is meant with good intentions, Apple’s interpretation of the United State’s embargo on countries like Iran should be heavily revised. 

By refusing to sell an American woman who spoke Farsi an iPad, the Apple store in Alpharetta, GA, is standing atop a slippery slope. 

There are many Iranians living within the United States, 330,000 according to some estimates. Is Apple going to prevent Iranian –

Americans from buying their products, simply because of their heritage?

If Apple is, then what a sad company it has turned out to be. 

If Steve Jobs were alive today, would he be turned down too, because he is of Syrian descent? I sure hope not. 

I believe that Apple’s relatively local decision in Georgia will cause furor, since many Americans are of Cuban, Iranian and Syrian descent – countries that the U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with. 

Apple is effectively profiling customers that may fit U.S. embargo criteria, a practice unfit for a supposed global company.

All blame should not be placed on Apple though, rather the employee who cited regulation as a way to prevent the Iranian-American woman from buying the iPad. 

I agree that as a company based and founded in America, Apple should not sell goods directly to embargoed countries. 

I disagree with the employee assuming that the woman was going to send the product back to Iran.

This issue also brings up the bigger issue of embargoes in the United States. 

Cuba was last relative in the United State’s conscience during the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

I’m not saying that the embargo should be lifted on Cuba without thought. 

I am saying the government should review the matter and consider whether or not the embargo should be lifted.

If Apple is to right their wrong, then they should review and revise their policy on sales to embargoed countries. 

They should make it clear that they will not sell to countries on the list, but that they will sell to all American citizens, regardless of their ethnicity. 

Shane Newell is a sophomore journalism student and the assistant city editor for the Daily 49er.

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