Pokémon GO has basically taken over the world at this point, with countries jam packed full of people falling over one another while staring at their phones in a desperate bid to catch ’em all.
But it’s bad news for any aspiring Pokémon trainers in Iran, as the nation has completely banned the game due to ‘security concerns’.
According to the BBC, the decision was made by the High Council of Virtual Spaces, the official body overseeing online activity, who sure sound like an organisation in Pokémon who might affiliate themselves with Team Rocket.
Pokémon GO has already faced specific bans around the globe, including for sex offenders in New York City, but this is the first time an entire country has outright banned the gaming sensation.
And, to be honest, it’s still not completely clear what security concerns the Iranian High Council had with the game, although it seems likely that worries over trespassing, large groups gathering in areas, or even robberies and assaults played a role.
Apparently, Iranian authorities were considering a ban on the game last month but officials were waiting to see whether the country could work with the game’s creator, Niantic Labs, over potential restrictions.
Iran may not be the last country to ban the game either, as according to PC Mag, officials in Singapore are now also considering how Pokémon GO might impact day-to-day life within the country.
If you ask me, I reckon these officials just want to be the ones to track down that elusive Articuno for themselves, without fear of other players beating them to it!