The Iranian government has banned Nintendo’s Pokemon Go app, citing unspecified “security concerns.” The decision was taken by the ‘High Council of Virtual Spaces’, a fairly grand sounding committee that overseas online activity in the country. Several governments have expressed concerns about the game in recent weeks, but Iran is the first country to formally ban it.
There have been a spate of stories circulating of people playing the game in both dangerous and inappropriate places, including a military base and Aushwitz. Although a blanket ban only applies in Iran, governments have placed restrictions elsewhere. Indonesia has prohibited its police officers from using it, and New York has banned it for over 3k sex offenders.
Furthermore, a Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia has claimed that a fatwa (religious ruling) put on an earlier Pokemon card game also applies to the new app. The 16-year-old edict said the game contained “forbidden images” and violated an Islamic ban on gambling.