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Tesla boss offers internet access: Elon Musk activates Starlink broadband service for Iran

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Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk will activate his Starlink satellite broadband service for the people of Iran. Musk wrote this on Friday (local time) on Twitter. Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the US had taken measures to improve free access to the Internet in Iran and allow the free flow of information.

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According to the US Treasury Department, the US government wants to increase Internet access for Iranians despite existing sanctions. Musk announced on Monday that he wanted to apply for an exemption from Iran sanctions for his Starlink service. It is still unclear whether he still needs a special permit.

Islamist-ruled Iran has been experiencing a rare wave of protests for the past week. The Iranian government has since blocked access to the Internet. The protests are about the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the Iranian moral police for violating the headscarf rules.

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42,000

satellites wants to operate Starlink as a whole.

Iranian-born science writer Erfan Kasraie previously responded to Musk’s announcement by saying the Starlink service could be a “game changer” for Iran’s future.

Musk tweeted earlier this week that Starlink is now available on all continents, “including Antarctica.” The Starlink service, launched in 2020, already operates a network of more than 3,000 satellites intended to enable Internet access in areas that are not connected to the global network by cable. An antenna, a modem and a monthly subscription are required to receive the signal broadcast by Starlink.

New satellites are currently being sent into space about once a week on SpaceX-powered Falcon 9 launch vehicles. The company’s declared goal is to operate up to 42,000 satellites.

The United States recently tightened sanctions against Iran

The United States recently tightened its existing sanctions against Iran after Tehran supplied Russia with combat drones and a cyber attack against Albania, a member of NATO, allegedly carried out by the Iranian intelligence ministry became known.

Negotiations on reviving the international nuclear deal concluded with Iran in 2015 had recently stalled. US President Joe Biden had openly spoken out in favor of a renewed agreement, but Tehran demanded guarantees from Washington that the agreement would continue to exist in the years to come. Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump unilaterally terminated the agreement in 2018, after which Tehran no longer adhered to the conditions.

Starlink last attracted attention in the spring when company boss Musk sent Ukraine Starlink devices to provide Internet access to areas hit by Russian military attacks. (Reuters/AFP)

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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