The US Treasury Department has said satellite internet equipment are not under Washington’s sanctions and can be exported to Iran.

The Treasury made the comment in reaction to a tweet by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, suggesting that a license is not needed to provide the firm's Starlink satellite broadband service in the country.

Some people on Twitter had asked Musk to provide the satellite-based internet stations as he did for the people of Ukraine after the Russian invasion. However, most Ukrainians have not been able to access the internet via Starlink because it needs special equipment and is somehow too complicated to set up. Also, the Iranian government would allow any equipment intended for circumventing its internet censorship to enter the country.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has a longstanding license that "authorizes certain exports to Iran of hardware, software, and services related to communications over the internet, including certain consumer-grade Internet connectivity services and residential consumer satellite terminals authorized under General License D-1," a department spokesperson said, without specifying whether the license would apply to Musk's plans.

On Monday, Musk said that his company will ask for an exemption from US sanctions to provide Internet access for Iranians as the country is engulfed in widespread protests over the death of a young woman in the custody of hijab enforcement patrols.

Since protests over the death of Mahsa Amini have started, internet connection was significantly slowed down, a strategy the government usually uses during protests to prevent news of unrest reaching the rest of the country and abroad.

IITV News (54) - DC
IITV News (54) - DC
IITV News (44) - DC

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