SpaceX will use an exemption from US sanctions against Iran to offer its satellite internet service to the country, owner Elon Musk said. But, he added, “Starlink will apply for an exemption from sanctions against Iran.” Mr. Musk had initially declared that the Starlink satellite internet service had been made available on every continent, including Antarctica, with the company planning to launch up to 42,000 satellites to boost connectivity. The article is about SpaceX Aims To Bring Satellite Internet to Iran.
Iranian-born science journalist Erfan Kasraie had tweeted that bringing the service to Iran could be a real game changer for the country’s future, eliciting Musk’s response. Founded at the end of 2020, Starlink delivers high-speed broadband service to customers in areas poorly performed by fixed and mobile terrestrial networks through a constellation of satellites in low earth orbit.
The service obtained notoriety after supplying antennas and modems to the Ukrainian military to enhance its communications capabilities in its war with Russia. Starlink is monetized through purchasing antennas, modems, and subscriptions with rates that vary by country. Nearly 3,000 Starlink satellites have been deployed since 2019, and SpaceX is conducting about one launch a week, using its own Falcon 9 rockets to speed up its deployment.
Iran has been under a tightened US sanctions regime since former president Donald Trump terminated a 2015 agreement over its nuclear activities. While current President Joe Biden supports a renegotiation of the deal, Iranian insistence on long-term guarantees from Washington has stalled discussions. In September 2022, new sanctions were imposed on Iran after a Tehran-based company enabled ship drones to Russia and in response to a massive cyberattack targeting Albania in July, Iran’s intelligence ministry allegedly carried out.
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