Musk plans to request a waiver from the restrictions to provide Web access in Iran | Business Upturn

Musk plans to request a waiver from the restrictions to provide Web access in Iran

Musk-owned SpaceX’s Starlink subsidiary disperses thousands of satellites into Earth’s orbit to give internet access on a worldwide scale.


The Treasury Department, which stated on Tuesday that it welcomes applications to support Internet freedom in the nation that is mostly cut off from western economies, must grant Elon Musk’s request for approval in order for his satellite Internet company to operate in Iran.

The CEO of Tesla announced on Monday that Starlink, a satellite Internet provider, would apply for authorization to operate in Iran. Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, stated that the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury will decide what happens next with Starlink.

“We have of course, in the past, provided for various forms of exemptions for the Iranian people’s ability to communicate with each other and with the world,” Sullivan said during a White House press briefing on Tuesday.


Since 2019, Starlink, a unit of Musk-owned spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX, has been in operation. It spreads out thousands of satellites in Earth’s orbit to offer internet access everywhere.

During Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the company tried to give people access to the Internet, and it has contracts with the US military going back to 2021.

The Iranian government, which maintains strict restrictions on Internet access, would oppose if Starlink Internet service is made available to the entire public.


A Treasury representative said the Office of Foreign Assets Control welcomes applications for licences to authorise operations supporting internet freedom in Iran, but spoke on the condition of anonymity since no application had been submitted.

In order to promote the free flow of information to Iranian citizens, Treasury’s sanctions arm issued a licence in 2014 authorising shipments of software and services to Iran that would permit unrestricted Internet connectivity.

Despite the exemption, businesses have been hesitant to conduct business in Iran out of concern that they may break other laws or sanctions that carry harsh penalties.
To offer its services to developers in Iran, GitHub, a source code storage site, said in January 2021 that it had obtained a licence from the Treasury.

“We were able to demonstrate how developer use of GitHub advances human progress, international communication, and the enduring US foreign policy of promoting free speech and the free flow of information,” the company’s website states.