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Musk: “SpaceX” seeks to introduce satellite Internet to Iran

Billionaire Elon Musk announced that his company, SpaceX, will seek an exemption from US sanctions imposed on Iran in an effort to provide satellite internet service to the country.

In response to a tweet from a science reporter, Musk said: “Starlink will submit a request to be exempted from sanctions imposed on Iran.” Musk initially announced that the Starlink satellite Internet service is now available on all continents “including Antarctica”, while the company plans to launch up to 42,000 satellites to improve connectivity.

Iranian-born science journalist Irfan Kasraei said on Twitter that introducing the service to Iran “would change the rules of the game for the future” of the country, which prompted a response from Musk. Launched in late 2020, Starlink provides fast internet service to customers in areas where land-based fixed and mobile internet networks are weak, via a group of satellites positioned in low earth orbit.

The service became famous, especially after providing antennas and modems to the Ukrainian military to improve its communication skills in the war with Russia. Starlink generates revenue through the purchase of antennas, modems and subscriptions at prices that vary by country.

About 3,000 Starlink satellites have been launched since 2019, while SpaceX is carrying out a launch every week, using its Falcon 9 rockets to accelerate its deployment. Iran has been subject to a strict US sanctions regime since former US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 agreement to restrict its nuclear activities.

While current US President Joe Biden supports the renegotiation of the deal, Iranians’ insistence on obtaining long-term guarantees from the Americans has stalled the talks.

A new round of sanctions was imposed on Iran this month after a Tehran-based company helped Russia take over the drones and in response to a massive cyber attack on Albania in July that the Ministry of Intelligence and Iranian national security was accused of having accomplished.

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