Over the past years, the US Department of State has poured millions into exporting internet freedom in the form of circumvention technologies, trainings and other aid. But Internet users in sanctioned countries have long complained about the effects of export controls, the result of which is often the wholesale blocking of communications technologies and bans from web hosting, among other things.
Goals like Internet freedom, so central to pro-democracy and human rights movements are being undermined in Iran because companies, including Google, Yahoo and certain Web hosts, deny services to computers with Iranian I.P. addresses. The Treasury and State Departments have significantly stepped up pressure on private companies and banks in America and around the world to abandon commercial activity with Iran as tensions between the two countries increase. Often, these private entities decide that it is simply not worth the risk of violating sanctions to continue facilitating even perfectly valid transactions.
The European firm was forced to disconnect around 30 Iranian banks, including the country's central bank, from its network following a European Union ban on dealing with the institutions. Iran has faced progressively tougher sanctions from the U.S. and the E.U. Iran's oil exports have dropped sharply over the past year because of sanctions, Iran has been affected by the slump in oil exports and the refusal of many international banks to make deals as a result of the sanctions. That result has triggered a sharp drop in the Iranian currency, and forced Iran to cut back on imports. Iran banned imports of 2,000 luxury items, including mobile phones, laptops and cars, in an effort to conserve foreign currency. Authorities have divided imports into 10 categories based on how essential they are seen to be, and will provide importers with dollars at a subsidized rate to buy basic goods. To save billions of dollars for essential products in the face of worsening sanctions Iran has banned the import of some "luxury goods" including foreign-made cars and mobile phones.
The sanctions have the effect of denying Iranian citizens access to many information technology products. A major example was when, a woman with Iranian parents was barred from buying an Apple iPad in a US store after one of the Apple salespeople heard her speaking in Persian. The salesperson cited the US ban on exports of high technology goods to Iran. When Sahar Sabet, entered an Apple store in Georgia to buy an iPad. After a sales associate overheard the 19-year-old speaking Persian on her cell phone, she was turned away and told that she couldn't make her purchase because Iran and the US "have bad relations". According to media reports, Sahar Sabet, 19, an American citizen was discussing, in Persian, with his uncle the purchase in the Apple store in Atlanta, Georgia when she was overheard by a salesperson, who asked what language she was speaking. Upon being told it was the Iranian language, the salesman then said that he could not sell her the iPad due to the US embargo on Iran. Apple's head office suggested that she make the purchase online to avoid dealing with sales staff. The refusal is actually based on Apple’s corporate policy on export sales, which reads: The U.S. holds complete embargoes against Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria Sabet says she later called Apple’s corporate customer relations, where an employee (An Apple representative) reportedly later apologized to Sabet and told her she could buy the iPad online through the company's online store. Sabet is a U.S. citizen a student at the University of Georgia but the iPad was to be a gift for a cousin living in Iran. According to ACLU of Georgia National Security and Immigrants' Rights Director Azadeh Shahshahani, the organization is in contact with the Department of Justice and is keeping "all of our options open moving forward," including potential legal proceedings against Apple. The open letter to Apple states that the coalition expects the company to reply with specific actions to "rectify the situation" within a week of receipt. The real problem isn't the company, but the export restrictions and how they're enforced. the real problem is inherent in the way the U.S. government administers sanctions.
"Very hurtful, very embarrassing. I actually walked out in tears," Sabet told WSBTV about her experience.
Broad-based sanctions all too often cause harm and deprivation to ordinary citizens.
I wiped out this totally. It has lots of problems, but there should be stuff in it to salvage. TippyGoomba (talk) 03:27, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
The first has the word "blog" in big letters are the top. The second has the word "blog" in the domain name. The third identifies itself as "an independent, blog-based web magazine" near the bottom. All blogs. TippyGoomba (talk) 02:46, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Some news outlets host interactive columns they call blogs, and these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professional journalists or are professionals in the field on which they write and the blog is subject to the news outlet's full editorial control.
On that basis I think the first two citations are reliable, but the third is not. I think the second quote (most crippling) is usable but not the first (most severe). I'm quite sure the substance is correct, and you could find more U.S. officials calling the sanctions "crippling" during that time period (September-October 2012). Such statement were quite prevalent then, but I haven't heard them lately. Ideally one might want better sources, but these seem good enough IMO. NPguy (talk)
Can you provide evidence that the sources meet the criteria given, specifically "the blog is subject to the news outlet's full editorial control"? TippyGoomba (talk) 03:51, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
How would one do that? If you go to the second link there's an embedded CNN video clip of the interview being quoted. It seems self-evidently reliable. NPguy (talk) 01:34, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
So let's exclude the other two from the discussion. The video has a "Obama campaign Adviser" saying this, not exactly what I would call an "american official". Per WP:WEIGHT, I oppose including her opinion on the matter. TippyGoomba (talk) 03:24, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Michele Fluornoy was a senior Defense Department official when the sanctions were being developed and implemented. She was no mere "advisor." How about this White House Fact Sheet as a reliable source? NPguy (talk) 16:37, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
It would be useful to add something explaining the reasons for the UN sanctions. The UNSCRs themselves are a primary source, but there are probably contemporaneous secondary sources. NPguy (talk) 03:43, 19 February 2014 (UTC)