While hit mobile game Pokémon GO has been taking the world by storm, it appears that it won’t be available on every country’s soil. As The Guardian reported earlier this week, Iran has become the first country to ban Pokémon GO.

The decision apparently came due to a couple different reasons. For one, any game that operates nationwide in Iran must obtain approval from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance– and Niantic did not do, as stated by head of Iran’s supreme council of virtual space Abolhasan Firouzabadi. There’s also a security concern with the game in Iran, likely due to Niantic’s connections with Google, who has worked with the U.S. government on data mining and other acts before. (The fact that the app acts for several permissions on phones before getting installed likely didn’t ease concerns.)

Pokémon GO was very popular among young people in Iran before the ban, and as a result, the action was met with backlash from much of the country’s youth. It’s unknown whether the anti-filtering software used by many to access sites like Facebook and Twitter (which are also banned) will work with Pokémon GO. It seems unlikely that the ban will be lifted anytime soon. With luck, this will be the only country that bans the app, though only time will tell.

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Written by Ben Fruzzetti

Gamer, writer and devourer of pasta. Whenever not letting his daydreams run out of control, he can be found writing for Nintendo Wire, playing old JRPGs, or reading sci-fi and fantasy novels and comics.

Ben Fruzzetti

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