‘When a company willfully and openly violates the law after receiving formal notice… the federal government should take action…’
The Texas Republican sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday asserting that the social media giant was “willfully” violating U.S. law by providing Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif with social media accounts.
The letter comes a day after Twitter began censoring President Donald Trump.
Both Khamenei and Zarif have been officially sanctioned by the United States government for supporting of Iranian terrorism that has often been aimed at American soldiers in the Middle East.
According to Cruz, providing them with access to Twitter affords them the use of an American company, which is illegal. It also allows them to use the social media platform for anti-American propaganda while simultaneously forbidding the Iranian people from using Twitter.
“To this day, Twitter continues to provide services to these covered individuals,” Cruz wrote.
In February, Cruz, along with Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent a separate letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey alerting him to the violations.
“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,” the Feb. letter said.
But the warning fell on deaf ears. In response, Twitter claimed, “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…”
For many people, “the purpose” of Twitter is increasingly unclear. Allowing top leaders of the world’s leading sponsor of violent terror to use the social media site unfettered, along with members of Al Qaeda, ISIS and domestic terror groups like Antifa is especially confusing at a time when the company is censoring tweets from the president of the United States.
One day after Trump introduced an executive order to hold Twitter and other Big Tech companies accountable for censorship, the social media giant added a warning label to one of his tweets about violent riots in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A few hours later, Twitter censored another tweet.
“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,” Cruz concluded.