US Treasury Says Some Satellite Internet Equipment May Be Exported to Iran

US Treasury Says Some Satellite Internet Equipment May Be Exported to Iran

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WASHINGTON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department said on Tuesday that some satellite internet equipment may be exported to Iran, suggesting SpaceX CEO Elon Musk may not need a license to provide the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service in the country.

Musk said Monday that the company will apply for a waiver of sanctions against Iran. “Starlink will request an exemption from Iranian sanctions in this regard,” Musk wrote on Twitter in response to a tweet. read more

Musk’s tweet did not elaborate on his plans, but it came at a time of widespread protests in Iran over the death of a woman in police custody. Treasury did not specify whether the license would apply to Musk’s plans.

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Some people on Twitter had asked Musk to provide the satellite internet stations. Access to social media and some content is strictly restricted in Iran.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has a long-standing license that “authorizes certain exports to Iran of hardware, software, and services related to communications over the Internet, including certain Internet connectivity services for consumers and satellite terminals for authorized residential consumers”. under General License D-1,” a department spokesman said in a statement.

“For any exports not covered by existing authorizations, OFAC welcomes applications for specific licenses to authorize activities that support Internet freedom in Iran,” the statement added.

SpaceX aims to rapidly expand Starlink, and is competing with rival satellite communications companies, including OneWeb and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), which has yet to launch Project Kuiper.

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Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Daphne Psaledakis in Washington\ Editing by Alistair Bell

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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