SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk says Starlink will seek exemptions from sanctions on Iran to offer its satellite internet service to people in the country.
In response to a question whether the company would be able to provide the satellite internet service to people in Iran, Musk tweeted: “Starlink will ask for an exemption to Iranian sanctions in this regard.”
Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage to 40 countries.
As of September 2022, Starlink consists of over 3,000 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicate with designated ground transceivers. Starlink provides internet access to over 500,000 subscribers as of June 2022. It’s designed for use in remote areas. In a tweet on Sunday, Musk said the service is now active on all seven continents.
The request to provide satellite internet to Iran comes at a time when anti-government protests are ongoing in Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini.
Amini was detained by the morality police last Tuesday for not wearing hijab in Tehran, the capital of Iran. On Monday, the Iranian police denied Amini was mistreated and called her death “unfortunate.”
Amini, a 22-year-old from the western city of Saqez, who was from Iran’s Kurdish minority, died in hospital on Friday after spending three days in a coma.
Iran’s internet users have been reporting “the disconnection or severe slowing of internet service in multiple cities” since Friday, internet watchdog NetBlocks said on Monday.
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