Senator Ted Cruz has called on the Department of Justice and Treasury Department to investigate Twitter over allegations the social media company breached U.S. sanctions against Iran.
On Friday, The Texas Republican wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, urging a criminal investigation into the social media giant for potential criminal activity related to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
According to Cruz, Twitter may have committed sanctionable actions prohibited by Executive Order 13876.
“I believe that the primary goal of IEEPA and sanctions law should be to change the behavior of designated individuals and regimes, not American companies,” Cruz said. “But when a company willfully and openly violates the law after receiving formal notice that it is unlawfully supporting designated individuals, the federal government should take action.”
Washingtonexaminer.com reports: Cruz and three other senators penned a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in February calling for him to ban Khamenei’s and Zarif’s accounts.
“While the First Amendment protects the free speech rights of Americans — and Twitter should not be censoring the political speech of Americans — the Ayatollah enjoys zero protection from the United States Bill of Rights,” the four senators wrote in the letter.
“And, as the leader of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism — directly responsible for the murder of hundreds of US citizens — the Ayatollah and any American companies providing him assistance are entirely subject to US sanctions laws,” they continued.
The first letter came at a time of soaring tensions between the United States and Iran. The U.S. killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. troops, in a January drone strike. Iran then retaliated by firing more than a dozen missiles at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, appeared to weigh in on the matter when he posted a series of tweets from Khamenei that called for the destruction of Israel.
“Serious question for @Twitter: Do these tweets from Supreme Leader of Iran @khamenei_ir violate ‘Twitter Rules about glorifying violence’?” he said.
Twitter sowed controversy Tuesday when it added a “get the facts” alert under some of President Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots. Trump accused Twitter of interfering in the presidential election. Twitter also added a warning label on tweets from Trump and the White House about the violent protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, over the death of George Floy
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