Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

US Officials Demand Twitter to Suspend Iranian Accounts

US Officials Demand Twitter to Suspend Iranian Accounts

Sunday, 9 February, 2020 - 08:00
The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, US, September 28, 2016. (Reuters)
Washington - Asharq Al-Awsat

A group of senators wrote a letter to CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey claiming that Twitter may be violating US sanctions by letting Iranian leaders maintain accounts on social media.

“While the First Amendment protects the free speech rights of Americans — and Twitter should not be censoring the political speech of Americans — [supreme leader Ali Khamenei] enjoys zero protection from the United States Bill of Rights,” they continued.

The letter was led by Sen. Ted Cruz and co-signed by Tom Cotton, Marsha Blackburn and Marco Rubio.

The senators said that President Barack Obama’s administration “created an exception for services and software incident to Internet-based communications,” which allowed the Iranian regime to propagandize through social media networks such as Twitter.

“And, as the leader of the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism — directly responsible for the murder of hundreds of US citizens — [Khamenei] and any American companies providing him assistance are entirely subject to US sanctions laws,” the group said.

The White House was notified about the letter’s content. Copies of the letter were sent to Obama, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and lawyers of Northern California.

“This letter is just one example of Senator Cruz’s fight in the Senate to hold technology companies like Twitter accountable," a spokesperson for Cruz said.

Editor Picks