Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, announced on Friday that the government of Iran had shut off internet access due to widespread protests there and that he would activate the company’s satellite internet service, Starlink.
Elon Musk claimed that SpaceX would do its part for Iran through the activation of Starlink at the same time as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the US took steps “to improve internet freedom and the free flow of information” to Iranians.
Following the murder of Mahsa Amini while she was being held in detention after being detained by the morality police for wearing “unsuitable attire”—namely, not donning a hijab—this week, Iran has seen widespread protests. In an effort to prevent demonstrators from assembling in the face of international condemnation, Iran has put stringent regulations on internet access.
Elon Musk had already stated on Monday that his business would request a sanctions exception in order to provide Iran Starlink satellite broadband service. In the midst of Russia’s invasion, Starlink services are already being offered to Ukraine.
An organization with its headquarters in Oslo called Iran Human Rights said that at least 50 people had been killed during the anti-government protests by security forces.