Starlink is now activated in Iran despite the Iranian regime’s attempts to keep its citizens offline and disconnected from the outside world. Karim Sadjadpour, a Senior Fellow at Carnegie Endow, and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, spoke with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Elon Musk granted Sadjadpour permission to share the following statement:
“Starlink is now activated in Iran. It requires the use of terminals in-country, which I suspect the [Iranian] government will not support, but if anyone can get terminals into Iran, they will work.”
In a Twitter thread, Sadjadpour said that officials from the Biden administration are open to helping get Starlink terminals to Iran but there are two main challenges. These are financial and logistical challenges The cost would be in the millions to set up and sustain thousands of Starlink terminals in Iran. The other challenge is logistics.
“Elon Musk and the USG have sent more than 15,000 Starlink kits to Ukraine but Ukraine’s government is a close ally and eagerly cooperated. Iran’s regime wants to keep the Internet off so it can repress people in the dark,” Sadjadpour said.
Sadjadpour added that the challenge will be surmountable and will require the active support of the U.S. government and Starlink. It would also benefit from the help of Silicon Valley’s Iranian-American tech minds, he added.
Stopping the regime from shutting off its Internet so the people can’t connect with one another and the outside world is the best way the U.S. can help the Iranian people, Sadjadpour pointed out. “The last time Iran’s government did this, they reportedly killed 1,500 people.”
You can read Sadjadpour’s full thread here. This news comes after Iran blocked access to Starlink’s website yesterday. Although blocking access to Starlink will be a hindrance, Iranians can easily use a VPN to get around the block and get online.
Another thing that is worrisome is whether or not Iran would punish citizens caught with Starlink terminals.
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