Rep. Mike Levin has sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen requesting expedited approval of Internet access for Iranians amid growing protests against that country’s autocratic religious government.
The brutal death of a 22-year-old woman jailed by Iran’s morality police last month has sparked anti-government protests in as many as 80 cities across the fundamentalist Muslim country.
Authorities have cut off Internet access and other communications, but U.S. companies like Carlsbad-based Viasat and Hawthorne-based SpaceX could provide satellite access, as they have in Ukraine.
“The United States must support the Iranian people and help facilitate the free flow of information to Iranian civilians as they protest for their basic rights,” said Levin, a Democrat who represents north coastal San Diego and south Orange counties.
“The recent murder of Mahsi Amini by the Iranian government has sparked worldwide outrage and led to Iran shutting down internet and other communication pathways for Iranian civilians,” he said. “This is unacceptable, and I am urging the Treasury Department to facilitate efforts to provide Iran civilians with access to the internet.”
He called on the department to expeditiously review and approve licensing requests for personal Internet communications services for Iranian civilians.