A 19-year-old Iranian-American woman from Georgia
has claimed that her local Apple store refused to sell her any products after she was heard speaking Farsi with her uncle, US media outlets reported earlier this week.
The Apple employee from the North Pointe Mall in Alpharetta stated that he couldn’t sell her any products as the US and Iran have “bad relations.”
Sahar Sabet, a US citizen, said the experience was "very hurtful, very embarrassing, adding that she "actually walked out in tears."
She said the employee refused to sell an iPad to her and her uncle after overhearing them speaking Farsi. The iPad was to be a gift for her cousin who lives 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.
Sabet returned to the store with a reporter and the two obtained iPhone video of the same employee repeating the policy.
A manger at the store showed the reported a document detailing the computer giant's policy. It said the exportation, sale or supply from the US to Iran of any Apple goods is strictly prohibited without authorization by the US government.
Sabet claimed she was discriminated against and racially profiled. "He didn't have any business asking me what country I was from," she said.
Zack Jafarzadeh had a similar experience when he accompanied a friend to an Apple Store in Atlanta.
Jafarzadeh said he was helping a friend buy an iPhone. That friend was from Iran, living and studying in the Atlanta area on a visa.
"We never talked about him going back to Iran or anything like that. He was just speaking full-fledged Farsi and the representative came back and denied our sale," Jafarzadeh said.
Following the incident, Iranians set up a Facebook page calling to boycott the "racist" Apple for "discriminating against Iranian Americans."