TEHRAN – An Apple Store in Georgia refused to sell an Iranian-American woman an iPad after a store representative overheard her speaking in Farsi, Yahoo News reported on Tuesday.
“Very hurtful, very embarrassing. I actually walked out in tears,” 19-year-old Sahar Sabet told WSB-TV about her experience.
When a reporter from the station returned to the same Apple Store with Sabet, the employee once again reiterated that it is Apple company policy to not sell products to anyone from Iran. The WSBTV reporter recorded video of the exchange on her phone.
Sabet is a U.S. citizen and a student at the University of Georgia, but the iPad was to be a gift for a cousin living in Iran.
“When we said ‘Farsi, I’m from Iran,’ he said, ‘I just can’t sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations,’” Sabet said.
The employee showed them Apple’s corporate policy on export sales, part of which reads, “The U.S. holds complete embargoes against Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement after the incident, calling on Apple to change its corporate policy on sales to Iran.
“Apple must revise its policies to ensure that customers do not face discriminatory treatment based on their religion, ethnicity, or national origin,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said.
Sabet says she later called Apple’s corporate customer relations, where an employee reportedly apologized and told her she could buy an iPad online.