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EghtesadOnline: The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has issued licenses for five domestic companies to import iPhones and other Apple electronic products.

An official with the ministry announced at a press conference that there is no ban on importing smartphones from the US, ICTNA reported on September 6.

During a press conference held at the ministry, Yadollah Sadeqi said five licenses have been issued to import smartphones made by Apple Inc without naming the domestic companies.

Sadeqi said US sanctions bar American corporate entities from entering the Iranian economy or partnering with local businesses.

“Therefore, Apple Inc. cannot establish an official representative in Iran. But there is no ban on the legal import of the company’s products to Iran [from Iran’s side],” he said.

In order to preserve customers’ rights and ban contraband smartphones and gadgets from entering the market, the Iranian government in July introduced a new project to round up smuggled phones and make all phone owners to register their IMEI number.

According to the official, private companies capable of providing after-sales services for the products can submit a request for licenses to import smartphones made in the US from a third-party country.

“If a company is capable of fulfilling the conditions of the ministry, it can register for a license. There are no limits to the number of licenses that can be issued. There is also no limit on the number of phones each company can import,” he said.

The report does not mention the source country from which the smartphones will be imported.

Earlier in August, the ministry announced issuing licenses to nine local companies to import Apple’s phones to open up the market to legal companies.

A copy of the official document licensing the companies to sell iPhones in Iran was signed by Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mojtaba Khosrotaj at the time.

The nine companies were Datis Emertat, Media Pardazesh, Arvand, Delta Commerce Company, Smart Golden Apple, Manatel Pars, Iranian Qaem, Elixir Saba (Mahtel) Commerce Company and Almas System, reports Financial Tribune.

  Apple Hints

At the Gitex 2015 event held on October 16-20 at Dubai World Trade Center, Apple’s CEO for the Middle East Patrick Beyrouti was reported as saying that the California-based company is willing to officially operate in Iran and determine its future local partner.

For doing so, Apple needs to receive the US Office of Foreign Assets Control’s permission, which would need to offer a license to the company to enter Iran, much like Coca-Cola and Pepsi receive currently.

Even if the company was granted a US license, it has to partner with local companies in Iran. It must also get the green light from the Iranian government to operate.

  Apple iPhone7 Released

Meanwhile, Apple announced launching the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus at an event in San Francisco on September 8.

According to a press release by Apple, the newly introduced iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are packed with unique innovations that aim to improve the everyday user experience of iPhone. Apple added more power and performance to the new iPhones.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus feature two new beautiful finishes, the best battery life ever in an iPhone, new advanced camera systems, wide color system from camera to display, immersive stereo speakers. These are also the first water and dust resistant iPhones made by the high-tech company.

The two models are powered by the Apple A10 Fusion processor. This is the most powerful chip ever used in an iPhone, providing the longest battery life ever and more time between charges.

The phones have improved the world’s most popular camera with entirely new camera systems. Apple’s flagship phones come with a 12-megapixel camera that includes a larger ƒ/1.8 aperture and 6-element lens and optical image stabilization.

At the launch event for the updated phone, which according to reports was a show stopper, Apple made a series of changes to its lineup, according to TechPost.

The iPhone 6s now come in just two storage configurations, 32 and 128 gigabytes, priced at $549 and $649, respectively. Previously, 128 gigabytes cost $200 more and there was no 32-gigabyte option—an equivalent 16-gigabyte model was $649.

Apple iPhone Iranian market