In the latest salvo in the conservative war against Twitter, Senator Ted Cruz is calling for a criminal investigation into the social media platform for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Cruz does not argue that Twitter sold prohibited goods to Iran or somehow helped the Iranian government gain access to the international financial system. Nor does he contend that Twitter has hosted content promoting terrorism. Rather, the Texas Republican argues that Twitter is violating U.S. sanctions merely by allowing sanctioned Iranian officials, including Iran’s foreign minister, Javid Zarif, to maintain and use free accounts on its platform.
Twitter’s crime, it seems, is letting them speak.
Cruz’s letter urging Attorney General William Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to open a probe is, of course, part of a larger effort by conservatives to punish the private company for its alleged ideological slant. The letter came on the same day that Twitter placed a warning label on President Donald Trump’s now-infamous “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” tweet, cautioning viewers that the post glorified violence. The previous day, the president had issued an executive order aimed at making it easier to sue social media platforms, ostensibly in response to Twitter having fact-checked the president’s tweets claiming that mail-in voting increased the chance of voter fraud.
Read the full article in POLITICO Magazine.
More from CNAS
PodcastThe Trump Administration’s Latest Moves to Dismantle the Iran Nuclear Agreement with Peter Harrell and Richard Nephew
On May 27, the Trump administration announced that it was withdrawing sanctions waivers that had allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to work with Iran on sensitive...
By Peter Harrell
CommentarySharper: Global Coronavirus Response
As regions across the United States enforce states of emergency and a growing list of countries restrict travel, close schools, and quarantine citizens, the economic and human...
By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens
CommentaryHow the US can learn from Israel to counter Iran
During the COVID-19 crisis, one would have thought the United States and Iran would find ways to reduce tensions. Instead the Trump administration refuses to relax sanctions i...
By Ilan Goldenberg & Kaleigh Thomas
ReportsCountering Iran in the Gray Zone
American freedom of action to strike Iranian targets in the gray zone may be greater than previously assessed, if U.S. policymakers are willing and able to replicate at least ...
By Ilan Goldenberg, Nicholas Heras, Kaleigh Thomas & Jennie Matuschak