Most hosting companies had stopped offering services to Iranians. The companies introduce automated checks of transactions and contact details to sieve Iranian businesses and “flag” them.
The reason cited as sanctions by the international community or by OFAC through the United Nations Security Council.
According to General License D-1 published by United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control on Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, US-based entities barred from offering web-hosting services to commercial endeavors or domain name registration services to Iranians.
Iranians banned from using US-based payment services, and they cannot purchase applications and games via conventional app stores. They use alternative app stores common in China and Russia.
The international sanctions imposed on the Iranian economy were eased last year as part of the nuclear deal (better known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA). The deal was signed between the government of President Hassan Rouhani and P5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany) in 2015. In exchange, Iran agreed to limit the scope of its nuclear activities.
Iran lays heavy censorship on the Internet and social media apps.
Article 751 of the Islamic Penal Code regarding Internet crimes says that the companies providing hosting services are required to abstain from offering any assistance to websites filtered in the country.
- (OCTOBER 8, 2019) According to an order issued by the deputy prosecutor general in charge of cyberspace, Javad Javidnia, on August 31, 2019, the Iranian domestic hosting companies cease to provide services to filtered banned websites. Now the sites containing censored news and information have to move content to foreign hosting providers or go offline. Any company that violates this order will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
- Digital Ocean stopped providing services to Iran-based clients in January 2019.