It seems Iran’s Pokemon Trainers won’t be doing much training as the game has now been banned from the country. Iran’s High Council of Virtual Spaces, an official body which governs online activity, has banned Pokemon Go due to undisclosed “security concerns.”
The council has stated they attempted to work with Niantic and negotiate with them, however that did not come to light and the ruling was made. Another potential conflict for the ban could be because of the disagreement between the game’s content and the Islamic religion.
Back in 2001 the Pokémon card game had been flagged via a religious ruling by the Saudi General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars. They reasoned that the game contained “forbidden images”, such as crosses and a six-pointed star, which they thought to be propaganda for Christianity and Judaism respectively. The council also considered the popular card game to be a form of gambling, which is illegal in Iran. The BBC reported that Saudi Sheikh Saleh al-Fozan believed that Pokémon Go fell under the same ruling as the card game over 15 years ago. No statement from Niantic has been released as of yet.
Of course, Iran isn’t the first country to implement some sort of law regarding Pokémon Go. Indonesia has banned police officers from playing the game while on duty, while in France a player was arrested last month after straying on to a military base while trying to catch Pokemon.
It remains to be seen whether Iran can reach an accord with Niantic, or if Iranians simply will be unable to catch Pokemon forever.
What do you think of this banning? Do you think that country’s that ban Pokemon Go for security reasons have a point or are being paranoid? What other countries do you think might ban Pokemon Go? Share your thoughts in the comments below!More About This Game