THE BLOG
07/05/2012 03:06 pm ET Updated Sep 04, 2012

Apple's Sanctions Discriminate Against Iranian Americans: Will Obama Listen?

Happy Independence Day Mr. President,

My name is Sahar Sabet. I am a 19-year-old Iranian-American student. Four years ago, I saw my sister vote for you, and I could not wait to be old enough to vote for change like my sister.

Mr. President, I am writing you because I was discriminated against in my hometown of Alpharetta, Georgia by an Apple employee. I was denied purchase of a birthday gift for my sister because of my Iranian heritage. I am sure you know how bad it feels, being from a multicultural, multiracial upbringing yourself. You are probably one of the greatest inspirations of my generation, showing us that even in the face of such discrimination, we can and will prevail.

Mr. President, what happened to me wasn't the product of bigotry by a single person. It was the product of policies and sanctions that are hurting the ordinary Iranian people. And now Iranian-Americans are also feeling the effects of sanctions. These policies are pressuring businesses like Apple to profile us.

Mr. President, we all want change within Iran. However, as years of sanctions against Cuba have shown, these policies have only hurt the innocent Cuban people and American businesses. Similarly, all the sanctions against North Korea have not changed anything about the government, but it sure causes great suffering and pain for the people and children of that country. This is not the change we are hoping for in Iran, where my family and friends are struggling under sanctions, or here at home, where my civil rights are being violated.

Mr. President, I am asking you to ensure that your sanctions stop hurting the wrong people and your policies support human rights and civil liberties. Apple did not listen to me, Mr. President will you?

Respectfully,

Sahar M. Sabet