Iran's telecommunications minister said his country will legally sue a recent decision by Apple for removing Iranian apps from its App Store, Tehran Times daily reported on Friday.
Apple holds 11 percent share of the Iranian cellphone market, however, it has not observed the Iranian consumer rights, Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi was quoted as saying.
"We will legally sue (the issue of) removing of the apps," Azari-Jahromi said.
Pursuant to the US sanctions, Apple has no official presence in Iran. Millions of Iranians use iPhones smuggled in from different countries and thousands of apps have been created for Iranians in App Store.
On Thursday, Apple removed Snapp, a ride-hailing app similar to Uber that is popular in Iran, from its app stores. That followed by the removal in recent weeks of apps for food delivery, shopping and other services.
In a message to Iranian developers whose apps were affected by the ban, Apple said, "Under the US sanctions regulations, the App Store cannot host, distribute or do business with apps or developers connected to certain US embargoed countries."
In January, Apple pulled a number of Iran-based iOS apps from the App Store, including online e-commerce service Digikala, citing noncompliance with Iranian Transactions Sanctions Regulations.
"Since Apple takes a cut of all App Store purchases, sales from Iranian apps generate revenue and are thus in violation of US law," Apple said.