Samsung app store to be blocked in Iran starting May 22

samsung-appsThe Samsung mobile applications users inIransaid on Thursday that the company had notified them that they will no longer have access to the company’s online store as of May 22.

This move is seen as part of international sanctions on the country over its disputed nuclear program. A chargeTehrandenies that the west has imposed banking and insurance sanctions onIransince it suspectsIranis pursuing nuclear weapons.

The owners of mobile phones and tablets at a shopping mall atTehransaid Thursday, that they had received the message via email from the company late the night before. Retailers said they had no power over the decision.

A local shopkeeper Bijan Ashtiani said that, “We have heard about it, but we are only responsible for hardware here, not software and apps.”

Samsung said in the message that it cannot provide access to the store, known as Samsung Apps, inIranbecause of “legal barriers.” The company apologized to customers in emailed statement seen by the Associated Press on Thursday.

Samsung’s offices inTehrancould not be immediately reached for comment due to the weekend there, and its headquarters inSouth Koreadid not immediately respond to a request.

The decision quickly provoked ire on social media.

Bahareh, a Twitter user blamingTehran’s policy “wrote that Samsung is to stop its apps inIran, oh how we appreciate our officials.” Another person named Armin, pointed at the technology giant itself, saying “Now, Samsung’s sanctions honor us as well!”

Samsung spokesman Chris Jung inSeoulsaid the company is still looking into the matter and could not confirm any details.

Unlike Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, Samsung has provided localized services to Iranians in their native Persian language. In 2012, Finish communications giant Nokia stopped its services in the country.