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US allows tech firms to boost internet access in Iran

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department stated Friday it was permitting American tech firms to increase their enterprise in Iran, probably the most sanctioned nations in the world, to boost internet access for the Iranian individuals.

The Iranian authorities lower most internet access for its 80 million residents throughout a crackdown on demonstrators protesting the loss of life of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s morality police.

The morality police detained Amini final week, saying she didn’t correctly cowl her hair with the Islamic scarf, often called the hijab, which is necessary for Iranian girls. Amini collapsed at a police station and died three days later.

At least 9 protesters have been killed in clashes with Iranian safety forces since violence erupted over the weekend. U.S. sanctions were imposed Thursday on the morality police and leaders of regulation enforcement businesses.

The Treasury Department stated an up to date basic license issued Friday authorizes tech firms to provide extra social media and collaboration platforms, video conferencing and cloud-based companies. The up to date license additionally removes the situation that communications be “personal,” which Treasury stated was burdening corporations with the necessity to confirm the aim of the communications.

“As courageous Iranians take to the streets to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, the United States is redoubling its support for the free flow of information to the Iranian people,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo stated in a press release.

“With these changes, we are helping the Iranian people be better equipped to counter the government’s efforts to surveil and censor them.”

In 2014, Treasury’s sanctions arm issued a license authorizing exports of software program and companies to Iran that may permit the free trade of communication over the internet, with the intent to foster the free circulation of data to Iranian residents.

Despite the allowance, firms have been reluctant to do enterprise in Iran, due to fears of violating present sanctions and different legal guidelines that impose penalties.

On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his satellite internet firm Starlink would search permission to function in Iran. National safety adviser Jake Sullivan stated it was up to Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to determine on Starlink’s subsequent steps.

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