To no one’s surprise, Pokémon Go has been banned in Iran.
This isn’t a religious condemnation of the game, though. According to BBC News, it comes from the nation’s High Council of Virtual Spaces, which considers the game a security threat.
The Beeb says Iranian regulators were willing to wait it out, asking Niantic for an answer to their (unspecified) concerns before giving it the ol’ heave-ho. And, in fairness, U.S. politicians (in New York state) stepped in this week with a proposed law that directs developer Niantic Labs to edit the game’s map in another look-tough effort against sex offenders.
Incidentally, there is a religious proscription against Pokémon, but it applies to the 2001 card game and it comes from a Saudi cleric (this is one of only two times you’re allowed to use the word “cleric,” by the way. The other is when you’re playing Dungeons & Dragons.) The BBC reports that fatwa extends to Pokémon Go as well.
Iran actually does have a video games industry and culture, albeit one heavily shaped by economic sanctions, state censorship and piracy.
According to our Pokémon-Go-Release-O-Meter, the game is unavailable in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.