Sen. Cruz Calls for Criminal Investigation Into Twitter's ‘Blatant & Willful Violation’ of U.S. Sanctions on Iran

“To this day, Twitter continues to provide services to these covered individuals.”

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – (HOUSTON, Texas) – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today called on Attorney General Bill Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to investigate Twitter for willfully violating American sanctions on Iran by providing social media accounts and services to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif. Both officials are designated under Executive Order (E.O) 13876 for connections to the Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran, which is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

In February, Sen. Cruz, along with Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey alerting them to these violations. The letter made clear that “Twitter and its principals face criminal liability and sanctions exposure for providing social media accounts to Iranian persons designated as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) pursuant to E.O. 13876.” The letter also noted that Iranian leaders do not allow their own people to access Twitter, and so the platform is used by them exclusively to propagandize to the world.

In a response letter, Twitter stated “regardless of the political agenda of a particular nation state, to deny our service to their leaders at a time like this would be antithetical to the purpose of our company...”

Following that exchange, today Sen. Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General Barr and Secretary Mnuchin, writing:
 
“The [February 6, 2020] letter spelled out in detail how Twitter is in violation of IEEPA. […] It then cited two specific and active Twitter accounts belonging to individuals designated pursuant to E.O. 13876 […] and called on Twitter to come into compliance with United States law by ceasing to provide services to these individuals.

“To this day, Twitter continues to provide services to these covered individuals.”

He continued:
“I wrote to Twitter before writing to you because 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. 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. […]

“The cohesion and legitimacy of our laws rest on their equal application to all citizens and entities, no matter how large or how powerful. The Department of Treasury and the Department of Justice should investigate what appears to be Twitter’s blatant and willful violation of IEEPA by providing services to Khamenei, Zarif, and other designated Iranian entities, and, to the extent appropriate, enforce any violation through sanctions and by seeking civil and criminal penalties.”

Read the full text of the letter Sen. Cruz sent to Attorney General Barr and Secretary Mnuchin here
.

Read the letter Sen. Cruz and Senate colleagues sent to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on February 6, 2020, here, and Twitter’s response on April 3, 2020, here.
 
\
Senator Ted Cruz - YouTube by N/A is licensed under N/A N/A

ad-image
image
07.09.2020

TEXAS INSIDER ON YOUTUBE

ad-image
image
07.08.2020
image
06.25.2020
ad-image