Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, has said that the satellite internet service Starlink will be activated in Iran in response to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s tweet that the U.S. had taken steps to promote internet freedom and the free flow of information for Iranians.
Due to the protests in Iran in response to the death of a 22-year-old woman in custody, the U.S. Treasury Department issued recommendations to extend Internet services to Iranians despite U.S. sanctions against the country.
According to the statement, the Treasury Department understands that Starlink offers commercial connections with hardware that is not covered by the general license, so they must write to the Treasury Department to do so.
According to a U.S. State Department spokesman, the current license is self-executing, and anyone who meets the requirements set out in this license can fulfill their obligations without seeking additional permits.
Furthermore, if SpaceX determines that certain activities targeting Iranians require a special license, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will welcome and prioritize it. Likewise, if SpaceX determines that its activity is already authorized but has questions, OFAC welcomes them.
Musk said his company wants to offer the Starlink satellite broadband service it has already provided to Ukraine in the fight against Russia’s invasion, and that he would seek an exemption from the sanctions.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.