Musk activating Starlink in Iran
Elon Musk is sending his satellites to Iran in light of the ongoing protests and the alleged internet blackouts in the country.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Friday that he was activating Starlink, his company's constellation of internet satellites, in Iran as the Islamic Republic undergoes mass protests.
"Activating Starlink", Musk said on Twitter, replying to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's announcement that Washington "took action today to advance Internet freedom and the free flow of information for the Iranian people."
Activating Starlink …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 23, 2022
Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi stated today that some social networking sites took an active role in directing the riots and igniting the fires, adding that many elements of the riots were the result of training received using these sites.
Vahidi then went on to announce that the ministry decided to put temporary restrictions on social networking sites to "maintain security and the safety of the people."
The US Department of the Treasury issued a license expanding the provision of internet services to Iran amid the protests taking place in the country, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said on Friday.
The US decision comes in light of widespread demonstrations taking place in Iran in the aftermath of a young woman's death that the West rushed to capitalize on, claiming that the Iranian police murdered her.
A few days ago, the Iranian police published CCTV footage documenting the last moments of Mahsa Amini at the police station. The Tehran police said the footage proved that the 22-year-old was not subjected to any violence or physical abuse.
The expanded license granted by Washington authorities tech companies to offer Iranians more secure, external internet service options, such as Starlink, eccentric billionaire Elon Musk's satellite service.
Meanwhile, Washington and the West have said that Tehran cut off internet access for civilians across the country. However, Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Issa Zarepour denied on Friday that internet access had been down around the country since the day before, Tasnim news agency reported.
The Iranian agency said it contacted the communications ministry after some Telegram channels, without giving sources, published messages about the Internet being cut off throughout the whole country since last evening, and received the answer that these messages did not correspond to reality.
This is not the first time that Musk responds to the Twitter bat signal of his, however.
SpaceX's Starlink satellites got deployed in late February across Ukraine after a request from the Ukrainian Vice PM, with Musk promising more were yet to come.
Mykhailo Fedorov, also Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation, tweeted Musk requesting that SpaceX switch on its Starlink broadband satellites to supplement the country's Internet services which have been allegedly disrupted during Russia's special military operation.
Within hours, his request was granted just like that. "Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route," Musk tweeted in reply.
Ukrainian President Elon Musk shared an Instagram video of himself sitting in front of a laptop, chatting with the world's richest man.
In the video, Zelensky invites Musk to visit Ukraine after the war, adding, "After the war, you're very welcome." The entrepreneur said the plan "sounds good."
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, bashed Musk for allegedly providing military communication equipment to Ukrainian troops and warned him of the repercussions.