According to CEO Elon Musk SpaceX will seek an exemption from international sanctions against Iran in order to provide the company’s Starlink satellite internet service to citizens of the country. The company will also work to provide Starlink in countries under a dictatorship.
Musk revealed the plans on Twitter on Monday, responding to a user who asked if SpaceX would be able to provide internet service to Iranian people, something which the user said would be a “game changer for the future” of the country.
Starlink will ask for an exemption to Iranian sanctions in this regard
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 19, 2022
The request comes at a time when internet service in Iran has been cut off by the government amid unrest following the death of a 22-year old woman, Mahsa Amini, in Tehran last week.
According to local authorities Amini was arrested for violating religious laws, namely not wearing her hijab properly. Three days later she passed away, with the official story claiming it was a heart attack. Her family has fought back against those claims saying she had no history of heart problems and that she suffered bruising to her legs while in custody.
Her death saw mass protests in several cities across the country, with several protestors reportedly being killed by authorities. The protests have led to multi-hour internet blackouts in Tehran and other cities in the country since last week, according to NetBlocks, a tool that tracks internet disruptions and shutdowns.
ℹ️ Update: Four protesters are reported killed in #Iran's Kurdish region as authorities open fire and impose a ~3.5 hour regional internet blackout. The incident follows partial disruptions in Tehran and other cities from Friday #Mahsa_Amini
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) September 19, 2022
Following his statement that he will be seeking exemptions to provide Starlink in Iran, Musk also said that the company will work to offer Starlink in other countries under a dictatorship, like Cuba.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 20, 2022