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An Iranian-American woman claims Apple refused to sell her an iPad because she was heard speaking Farsi.
An American citizen of Iranian descent is crying foul after she says a manager at a Georgia Apple Store would not allow her to buy an iPad because she was heard speaking Farsi.
Sahar Sabet, a 19-year-old student, said an Apple manager said he could not sell her the iPad because Iran and the U.S. have bad relations.
Sabet was heard speaking Farsi in the store with her uncle. The story was first reported by WSBTV in Atlanta.
A request for comment from Apple's public relations representative was not immediately responded to.
But the Cupertino-based technology company prohibits its products from being sold in or exported to countries that the U.S. holds embargoes against, according to an Apple legal document.
"The exportation, reexportation, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a U.S. person wherever located, of any Apple goods, software, technology (including technical data), or services to any of these countries is strictly prohibited without prior authorization by the U.S. Government," the policy reads. "This prohibition also applies to any Apple owned subsidiary or any subsidiary employee worldwide."
The list includes Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
But it was not clear if the policy would include an Apple Store employee prohibiting the sale of a product to someone who speaks a language from one of the embargoed countries.
A request for clarification from Apple's Export Compliance Department was not immediately responded to.
A U.S. State Department official told WSBTV that it is illegal to travel to Iran with laptops or satellite cellphones without approval from the government.
She said she was not familiar with Apple's enforcement of the law.
But a second person, Zack Jafarzadeh, who told WSBTV that she had a similar experience at a different Apple Store, said she received an apology from Apple when she called customer support and complained about the incident.