Iran welcomes satellite internet providers, but demands compliance with local legislation

Iran’s communications minister expresses openness to satellite internet service providers, including Starlink, but emphasises the need for compliance with the country’s territorial rules and censorship requirements.

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According to Iran’s communications minister, Issa Zarepour, satellite internet service providers like Starlink are permitted to operate in the country. However, they must abide by Iran’s territorial regulations and adhere to internet content censorship. Zarepour recognised the necessity of expanding high-speed internet access to approximately to remote places that lack connectivity. Nonetheless, he emphasised that any company collaborating with the Iranian government must strictly adhere to regulations, including technical cooperation in censoring internet content.

Iran has previously imposed similar requirements on foreign social media platforms, resulting in restrictions and access limitations within the country. While Starlink, owned by SpaceX, already provides internet services in nearly 60 countries, it requires ground stations for connectivity in larger nations. Despite existing sanctions on Iran, an Iranian official has claimed that approximately 800 Starlink satellite internet receivers have been imported into the country, although the specific means of importation were not specified.