December 4, 2022

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, announced on Friday that the government of Iran had shut off internet access due to widespread protests there and that he would activate the company’s satellite internet service, Starlink.
Elon Musk claimed that SpaceX would do its part for Iran through the activation of Starlink at the same time as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the US took steps “to improve internet freedom and the free flow of information” to Iranians.

Following the death of Mahsa Amini while she was being held in detention after being detained by the morality police for wearing “unsuitable attire”—namely, not donning a hijab—this week, Iran has seen widespread protests. In an effort to prevent demonstrators from assembling in the face of international condemnation, Iran has put stringent regulations on internet access.

A sanctions exception would be requested if Elon Musk’s company wants to provide Iran Starlink satellite broadband service, as he had already stated on Monday. In the midst of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine is already receiving Starlink services. According to an organization with its headquarters in Oslo called Iran Human Rights, at least 50 individuals have been killed by security personnel during the anti-government demonstrations.

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