The lifting of sanctions on Iran could turn into a gold mine for American companies, and Apple is set to be one of the first through the gates as the country plans to lift is ban on iPhone sales.
After planning to seize millions of iPhones in the country last month as part of an anti-smuggling campaign, Iran is reportedly planning to allow local companies to import iPhones for the first time ever.
Third-party iPhone retailers have been popular in cities like Tehran for years now. Millions of the country’s upper- and middle-class citizens own Apple’s iconic smartphone, while the Iranian government turned a blind eye to the mass smuggling of tech from the West.
Iran’s trade ministry has requested the Trade Promotion Organization to grant nine Iranian companies licenses to sell iPhones after it launched a crackdown on the banned iPhones over the past two months. With the change, only legally imported iPhones will be allowed to operate once the system is put in place over the next few weeks.
Even though Iran may lift its Apple ban it might not be able to actually import iPhones because the country is still under U.S. sanctions that prevent it from accessing international banks.