Middle East

Almost 100 Starlinks active in Iran

Anti-government protests have been going on in Iran for months. US billionaire Musk has now activated almost 100 satellites to infiltrate their Internet blocks.

Meanwhile, President Raisi announced “no mercy” towards “enemies”.

According to entrepreneur Elon Musk, satellite Internet service Starlink is making progress in deploying its facilities in Iran. “We are approaching 100 active Starlinks in Iran,” Musk wrote on Twitter. Musk’s company SpaceX has long been building a dense network of satellites in space to create a global Internet. The service, launched in 2020, currently includes around 2000 satellites.

In September, in the face of anti-government protests in the country, Musk said he wanted to activate Starlinks there as part of a US-backed initiative to promote internet freedom and the free flow of information. The satellite-based broadband service could help protesters in Iran circumvent government-imposed restrictions on access to the internet and certain social media platforms.

Earlier this year, Musk activated Starlink services in Ukraine. There they are supposed to help the Ukrainian army in the fight against the Russian war of aggression.

Iranian President: “No mercy” towards “enemies”

Meanwhile, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi announced that he would show no mercy to “enemies” of the Islamic Republic. Addressing a crowd in Tehran, Raisi spoke of “hypocrites, monarchists and anti-revolutionary tendencies” responsible for what the government called “riots” in the country.

“The nation’s arms are open to those who have been lured. The youth are our children,” said the ultra-conservative president at a memorial service for soldiers who died in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. But the nation will show no mercy to those who are “hostile” to the country, he added.

Violent protests for months

In Iran, there have been violent protests against the country’s leadership for months, in which more than 450 demonstrators have been killed, according to human rights activists. The trigger was the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died in September under disputed circumstances. She had previously been taken into police custody for allegedly violating the strict Islamic dress code for women in Iran.

The protests pose one of the biggest challenges to the Shia Muslim-ruled Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. Iran has said the protesters are being trained and armed by enemies like the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Eleven protesters have now been sentenced to death by the Iranian judiciary, and two executions have already been carried out.

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