Dozens of people gathered on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to protest alleged discrimination by Apple, Inc. against Iranian-Americans and to demand a public apology. “I’m American, and I speak Farsi,” read one protester's sign outside the Apple store.
Last week, the BBC reported that an Apple store in Georgia refused to sell an iPad to a 19-year-old Iranian-American woman after a salesman overheard her speaking Persian. The salesman reportedly told Sahar Sabet that American sanctions against Iran prevented him from selling her an iPad. Sabet was born in the United States and was visiting the store with her uncle.
The National Iranian American Council explained in a statement that while sanctions prohibit iPhones and iPads from being exported to Iran, they do not limit sales to Iranian-Americans.
Backlash to the discrimination reports culminated in other protests. At another Apple store in Midtown New York City, a flash mob of Iranian-Americans shouted slogans until the protesters were escorted out of the building, Truthout reports.
An online petition circulating the Internet also demanded that Apple apologize for its allegedly discriminatory behavior. "We demand that Apple clarify their position on the issue and train their employees accordingly. The current treatment of Iranian-American customers is a misguided and unlawful discrimination," the petition said.
The United Nations, the U.S. and the European Union have all imposed sanctions on Iran in hopes of forcing Tehran to abandon its nuclear program.