Sept 25 (LiveMint) – Amid widespread protests in Iran following which authorities had restricted internet access, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has deployed his satellite-based ‘Starlink’ service.
On Wednesday, the Iranian authorities had cut off internet access for many of its citizens after widespread protests over the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody, according to reports.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk had indicated that he will make Starlink available in Iran on Friday.
Earlier, US State Secretary Antony Blinken had announced on Twitter about advancing internet freedom and the free flow of information for the Iranian people by issuing a General License to provide them greater access to digital communications to counter.
Replying to Blinken’s tweet, Musk wrote, “Activating Starlink ….”
For over a week now, protesters in Iran have been demonstrations against the mandatory dress codes including the compulsory wearing of the Hijab and demanding basic rights of freedom.
Following the death of Mahsa Amini allegedly in detainment by Iran’s morality police, protest erupted all across Iran. Amini died a few days after falling into a coma while being detained on an accusation of violating a law related to hijabs.
Earlier this week, lawmakers from New York and New Jersey had urged US Treasury Department to grant approval if SpaceX sought licensing permission to make internet service available in Iran.
New York’s Claudia Tenney and New Jersey’s Tom Malinowski reportedly made the appeal to the Treasury Department, Fox News had reported. The letter came after Musk tweeted Monday that SpaceX would seek exemptions from sanctions on the country.
In the past, SpaceX has deployed Starlink in emergency situations in Ukraine after Russia invaded and in the South Pacific islands of Tonga after a volcanic eruption.