What are Elon Musk’s satellites doing in Iran?

by Zauqi Farooqi
Spacex elon musk

Space X chief Elon Musk told that about 100 of his Starlink internet terminals are working in Iran. These have come in handy for the people associated with the mass movement that has been going on since the death of Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September.

In September, the Iranian administration imposed strict restrictions to suppress the protests that started after the arrest and then death of Iranian woman Mahsa Amini. Activists say the government did this to prevent information about the protests from spreading across the country. That’s when billionaire businessman Elon Musk promised that he would set up a network of his Starlink satellites in the country.

Recently, Musk himself informed by tweeting that he has fulfilled his promise. On Monday, he wrote on Twitter, “Approaching 100 active Starlinks in Iran.”

Starlink network in Iran

According to Musk, around 100 Starlink internet terminals are working in the Islamic country. Their contact is related to small satellites circling in the sky.

At present, more than 2,000 satellites of Starlink are roaming at an altitude of a few hundred kilometres above the Earth. Internet is being provided to the users living on the earth through these satellites. The terminals built on the ground are connected by wires to the basic routers and small Wi-Fi spots are made from the same.

Twitter owner Musk has tweeted this while reacting to a user. She posted a video that she wrote was taken on “the streets of Iran” where “women now have more freedom to cover their heads or not”. Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested in Tehran for allegedly breaking the country’s strict dress code.

According to the United Nations, since the start of the protests, the Iranian government has so far arrested around 14,000 people in its crackdown. Figures from the Norwegian organization Iran Human Rights show that at least 469 protesters have been killed in it. Iran’s largest security agency has confirmed the death of more than 200 people in early December, including many security personnel.

Musk emerged as an internet champion

The Iran administration banned Instagram and WhatsApp in the country. After that, apps like Google Pay Store and VPN networks were also banned, due to which people were able to use social media sites by getting out of local restrictions.

Many Iranians had long been using VPNs, Virtual Private Wetworks because many international websites were blocked in Iran even before the September incident. Even the Twitter accounts of many government officials including the Foreign Minister of Iran are maintained while Twitter is blocked in Iran.

Earlier this year, Musk was hailed as a hero by Ukrainian supporters when he sent thousands of his Starlink satellites to Ukraine immediately after Russia’s invasion. There are currently at least 20,000 small white Starlink Internet receivers operating in different parts of Ukraine.

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