Dhe satellite Internet service Starlink is making progress in providing its facilities in Iran, according to entrepreneur Elon Musk. Musk said Monday they are close to having 100 active Starlinks in Iran. In September, in the face of anti-government protests in the country, he said he wanted to activate Starlinks there as part of a US-backed initiative to promote Internet freedom and the free flow of information.
Earlier this year, Musk activated Starlink services in Ukraine as well. Musk’s company SpaceX has long been building a dense network of satellites in space to create a global Internet. The services will also be used by the Ukrainian army in the fight against the Russian war of aggression.
The satellite-based broadband service could help protesters in Iran circumvent government-imposed restrictions on access to the internet and certain social media platforms. In Iran, there have been violent protests against the country’s leadership for months.
The trigger was the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died in September under disputed circumstances. She had previously been taken into police custody for allegedly violating the strict Islamic dress code for women in Iran. The protests pose one of the biggest challenges to the Shia Muslim-ruled Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. Iran has said the protesters are being trained and armed by enemies like the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.