New Starlink video
A new Starlink terminal on a Persian rug in Iran. Image from Twitter video

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said Monday the California company is close to having 100 active Starlink internet receivers in Iran, three months after he tweeted he would activate the service there amid protests around the intolerant Islamic country.

“Approaching 100 Starlinks active in Iran,” Musk said in a tweet on Monday.

The billionaire entrepreneur promised in September that he would activate Starlink in Iran as part of a U.S.-backed effort “to advance internet freedom and the free flow of information” to Iranians.

The satellite-based broadband service could help Iranians circumvent the government’s restrictions on accessing the internet and certain social media platforms amid protests around the country.

As of December, the SpaceX Starlink constellation consists of over 3,300 satellites in low Earth orbit. The network is designed to bring internet connectivity to remote parts of the world using small satellite receivers.

Starlink has been key to maintaining internet service in Ukriane after than country was invaded by Russia.

Iran has been engulfed in protests that erupted after the death in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody after being arrested by the morality police for wearing “unsuitable attire.”

Reuters contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock