Republican senators to Twitter: Suspend Khamenei's and Zarif's accounts

Group of Republican senators ask Twitter to suspend accounts of Iranian Supreme Leader and Foreign Minister.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

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A group of Republican senators, led by Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, have sent a letter to Twitter asking the social media platform to suspend the accounts of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to comply with US sanction law, The Hill reports.

The letter to CEO Jack Dorsey, sent on Thursday, argues that an executive order from last summer imposing sanctions on Khamenei and those acting on his behalf prohibits Twitter from providing services to the two Iranian officials.

Multiple accounts in different languages claim to be associated with Khamenei while Zarif has a verified account.

“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," Cruz and Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote.

"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 added.

The letter was also shared with President Donald Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Attorney General William Barr and David Anderson, the US attorney for the Northern District of California, where Twitter's headquarters are located.

Twitter declined to comment on the letter.

The social media platform last year temporarily banned one of Khamenei’s accounts after it posted a message threatening author Salman Rushdie.

The platform removes accounts owned or directly affiliated with groups designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the State Department, but does not have a similar policy for those sanctioned by the Treasury Department.

Zarif has in the past accused Twitter of closing accounts of "real" Iranians, while failing to shut down anti-government ones backed by the United States.

Ironically, Iran blocks access to numerous websites, including Facebook and Twitter, in order to stop Iranians from browsing content it considers immoral, or as undermining the regime.




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