Google Play has removed the app of leading Iran-based general marketplace Divar from its store, citing the sanctions imposed by the U.S. government on the Western Asian country as the reason.
Divar says the app has been removed from Google’s app store as of Tuesday night.
In a notification to developers at Divar, Google Play said, “Your account has been terminated pursuant to section 16.5 of the Developer Distribution Agreement: Products on Google Play may be subject to United States’ and other jurisdictions’ export control and sanctions law and regulations.”
It added, “You agree to comply with all export control and sanctions laws and regulations that apply to your distribution or use of products, including but not limited to (a) the export administration regulations maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce, (b) trade and economic sanctions maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and (c) the International Traffic in Arms Regulations maintained by the U.S. Department of State. These laws and regulations include restrictions on destinations, users and end use.”
In response to the removal of its official Google app, Divar expressed fears over the potential misuse of its brand, the proliferation of malware and subsequent violation of users’ rights.
“We are doing our best to resolve this issue using available legal means so that the app can be back on Google Play,” it said in a news statement.
Until the problem is solved, the company is advising users of alternative arrangements.
Divar.ir, launched by app-based marketplace CafeBazaar in 2012, had 10 million downloads on Google Play after its temporary withdrawal from the store last year to show solidarity with its main rival Sheypoor, which was also dropped by Google Play.