Amid Protests in Iran, Musk says he will Activate Starlink
US Treasury Issues Directives to Expand Internet Services Available to Iranians
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Friday that he will activate the company’s satellite Internet service, Starlink, in response to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s tweet that the United States has taken steps to ” promote Internet freedom and the free flow of information” for Iranians.
The US Treasury on Friday issued directives to expand internet services available to Iranians despite US sanctions on the country, amid protests across following the death of a 22-year-old woman. in custody.
Treasury reporters said briefly: “Our understanding from Starlink is that what they will offer will be commercial grade and the hardware will not be covered by the General License, so it will be something they will have to write about at Treasury.”
A US State Department spokesman later said of the updated license on Friday that it applied on its own and “anyone who meets the criteria outlined in this general license may continue their activities without applying for additional permits.” .
Musk could not be reached for comment or clarification on Starlink’s authorization to operate in Iran.
Iranians protested Mahsa Amini’s death last week while she was in police custody after her morality police arrested her for wearing “inappropriate clothing”.
Musk said on Monday that the company wants to offer Starlink satellite broadband service, which has already been provided to Ukraine in its war against Russian invasion, to the Iranians and will ask for an exemption from sanctions.
The State Department spokesperson added that if SpaceX determines that certain activities targeting Iranians require a specific license, “OFAC will welcome them and give them a priority.”
“Similarly, if SpaceX determines that its activity is indeed authorized and has any questions, OFAC also welcomes such involvement,” a State Department spokesperson said.
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