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Musk said on Tuesday that Starlink had not received any funding from the US Department of Defense for its services in Ukraine
The White House is in talks with billionaire Elon Musk to set up SpaceX’s Starlink satellite Internet service in Iran, CNN reported Friday, citing officials familiar with the matter.
The satellite broadband service could help Iranians bypass the regime’s restrictions on access to the Internet and some social media platforms.
The Islamic Republic has been gripped by protests that erupted after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody last month.
The U.S. Treasury Department said last month that some satellite internet equipment can be exported to Iran, suggesting the company may not need a license to provide satellite broadband services in the country.
Musk then said he would activate Starlink in response to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s tweet that the United States had taken steps “to strengthen internet freedom and the free flow of information” to Iranians.
SpaceX and the White House did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Musk said on Tuesday that Starlink had not received any funding from the US Department of Defense for its services in Ukraine, adding that the company was losing about $20 million a month due to unpaid services and the cost of cyber defense security measures.
SpaceX is looking to grow Starlink as it competes with rival satellite communications companies such as OneWeb and Amazon.com Inc, which have yet to launch the Kuiper project.