Elon Musk Wants To Bring Starlink Satellites To Iran, To Help Protesters Connect With The Internet

19/09/2022

Being the richest man on Earth does come with its own perks.

And for Elon Musk, the centibillionaire serial entrepreneur from the U.S., it includes speaking whatever his heart desires.

This time, the eccentric persona has called that SpaceX would seek exemptions from U.S. sanctions on Iran to launch Starlink satellites above the country, in order to help protesters get internet access.

The announcement arrived amid protests in Iran over a woman who died in Iranian police custody.

Shortly after people started hitting the streets, the country's internet went down.

Sooner than later, some people started reaching Musk, asking him to send his satellite-based internet network to the country.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and more, has more than a hundred million followers on Twitter, and has become one of the world's most notable trendsetters.

It all started when Iranian women protested, and also take things to the streets to protest the hijab laws.

The women were shown defying the government’s forced dress code, by walking to public places without wearing any head covering.

It was the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979 that brought huge changes to what was known as Persia.

One of the biggest changes, is the law that govern how women should dress. In the old Shah, hijab and headscarves were forbidden. After the revolution, the new Islamic authorities imposed a mandatory dress code that required all women to wear the hijab.

Since then, women are required to cover their heads when going to public places, and should never reveal or leave their bare skin uncovered, aside from the face and hands. While Iranians know their rights and what the laws are, a more recent crackdowns of officials and businesses on women who fail to wear hijab literally angered the women in the country.

The climax of the protests happened when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died on September 16th, at the hands of Iranian authorities.

The subsequent protests became more chaotic, and led to people destroying things, followed by the police making multiple arrests.

In Kurdistan province in Iran, people were also killed amid the protests.

This led to a "near-total disruption" of the internet, as the government tried to curb the anger.

Read: The Anti-Hijab Social Media Campaign Where Iranian Women Remove Their Hijab In Public

Mahsa Amini sparked protests in Iran
Following Mahsa Amini's death, people in Iran were protesting about the regime and the conservativeness of the country.

"Starlink will ask for an exemption to Iranian sanctions in this regard," Musk said in response to a tweet from Iranian-born science researcher and journalist Erfan Kasraie.

Kasraie had said on Twitter that bringing the service to Iran could be a "real game changer for the future" of the country, which elicited Musk's response.

Not only in Iran, because the eccentric billionaire also aims to bring the internet to Cuba, the country that has been in a troubled relationship with the U.S.

Starlink through Elon Musk's SpaceX, has been expanding its reach by launching more and more satellites to low Earth orbit.

Just before, this, Musk announced a partnership with T-Mobile to make the network available to users in the U.S., and also hinted at discussions between SpaceX and Apple regarding the iPhone 14's satellite connectivity.

And before that, Musk has also used Starlink to provide internet in at-risk countries like Ukraine.

At that time, it was Ukraine Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov who asked Musk for assistance.

As for his grand plan, Musk had initially announced that the Starlink satellite internet service had been made available on every continent, "including Antarctica."

In the modern-days' history, people of tech who made bold statements were mostly rich people who generally care for only their own business and profiting their own deep pockets.

But for Musk, the billionaire who claimed to live in a modest house, said that he is working hard to stay sane.

He also said that working can keep him from being lonely.

But regardless, Musk is unafraid to weigh in on world affairs, by piggybacking his status, and especially when the issues can be helped through the companies he runs: Tesla, the clean-energy-company, Neuralink, the medical-tech developer, SpaceX, the rocket service provider, and Boring Co., the construction-services company.

Soon after U.S officials eased the sanctions on Iran, Musk announced that he is activating the Starlink satellite internet service in Iran after U.S. officials eased sanctions to allow the Iranian people greater access to the internet.

The news followed the announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department, which stated that the policy change lets companies provide additional online services to Iran during the nationwide protests.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said the updated license is self-executing, meaning that “anyone who meets the criteria outlined in this general license can proceed with their activities without requesting additional permissions."

The government of Iran has blocked SpaceX’s Starlink website, in an attempt to prevent Iranians from registering to the site, and has deployed satellite jamming technology to block citizens from even watching Iran’s own channels.