Iran Demands Halt to “Unauthorized” Starlink Operations

Iran’s Ministry of Telecommunications has called for an immediate cessation of Starlink’s satellite internet services within the country, citing “unauthorized operations” and “violation of international regulations.”

The International Telecommunications Radio Regulations Board concluded its session on Friday, identifying Starlink’s activities as non-compliant with global norms, reports Iran International.

This development occurs against the backdrop of Iran’s stringent internet censorship policies, which have led to the blocking of thousands of websites and the banning of most social media platforms since the early 2000s. Given the lack of independent media, many Iranians rely on social media for political news and information.

Last year, Iran issued a 10-day ultimatum to Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp and Instagram, demanding the establishment of local offices to unblock their services. The demand, aimed at exerting control over Meta’s operations, was ultimately rejected.

In the wake of nationwide protests last year, Iran severely restricted internet access. The U.S. government subsequently eased some sanctions on internet service exports to Iran, enabling SpaceX to offer Starlink services there.

Yesterday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared a meme of Iran surrounded by U.S. army bases. “This is obviously a joke meme, but there is more than a grain of truth to it. We should aspire to see things from the point of view of others,” he said.

Musk recently disclosed that the Iranian regime was displeased with the introduction of Starlink services, which were deployed discreetly during internet blackouts. He revealed this information during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California, last month.