800 Starlink devices active in Iran: Official
An Iranian official revealed that there are 800 Starlink receivers in Iran, underlining that their use was illegal.
Some 800 Starlink satellite receiver devices have been smuggled into Iran, the head of the Tehran Telecommunication Devices and Accessories Union, Mehdi Mohebi, said Monday, underlining that the sale of this product was illegal.
"The entry of these devices is smuggling. The relevant agencies must manage the entry of these devices," Mohdebi underlined.
With several active satellites in Iran, in addition to the 800 smuggled devices, the likeliness that the devices being used is expected to grow.
The official stressed the need to prevent the smuggling of the device, calling on the Ministry of Communications to prevent Starlink devices from operating in the Islamic Republic.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said back in September that he was activating Starlink, his company's constellation of internet satellites, in Iran back when riots were taking the country by storm.
"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."
The US Department of the Treasury had issued a license expanding the provision of internet services to Iran in a bid to further fuel the riots.
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 internet access had been down around the country.
Musk has also been using the satellites to support the West in Ukraine, deploying them 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 the ongoing war.
Within hours, his request was granted just like that. "Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route," Musk tweeted in reply.