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The Guardian reports that Iran has become the first country to ban Pokémon Go, in part because the app developers failed to apply the “catch ’em all” directive to securing all the necessary permissions to launch there. The order was handed down by the head of Iran’s supreme council of virtual space, Abolhasan Firouzabadi, who told the Iranian Students News Agency that “Any game that wants to operate nationwide in Iran needs to obtain permission from the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, and the Pokémon Go app has not yet requested such a permission.”

This latest mobile prohibition was prompted by security concerns over the ubiquity of the game, which has led to more people getting outside to play with their phones at lunch instead of just hunkering over them to Instagram their meals. The Iranian government did propose some restrictions to the app developers that would allow for fettered access to the populace, but it doesn’t look like anyone at Niantic has taken them up on them. Now, this move is hardly surprising, considering Facebook and Twitter are already blocked in Iran (though the tech-savvy citizenry has found ways around it). No, what’s more shocking is the fact that it took Iran so long to denounce the augmented reality game, especially since Russia already called it the tool of the devil more than a week ago.


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