SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Monday the company would seek an exemption from Iran sanctions to provide the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service in the country.
Musk made the statement on Twitter at a time of widespread protests in Iran over the death of a woman in police custody. Some people on Twitter asked Musk to provide the satellite internet stations.
Access to social media and certain content is strictly restricted in Iran and internet monitoring group NetBlocks reported an “almost complete” disruption of internet connectivity in the Kurdish region’s capital on Monday, linking it to the protests. (https://bit.ly/3qR2OCE).
Iran’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology could not immediately be reached for comment. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Iran’s mission to the United Nations and the US Office of Industry and Security did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Musk did not specify which country Starlink would seek exemptions from, but Iran faces broad sanctions.
SpaceX aims to expand Starlink quickly, and it is racing rival satellite communications companies including OneWeb and Amazon.com Inc, which have yet to launch Project Kuiper.