As tensions between social media platform Twitter and conservative voices grow, Texas Senator Ted Cruz just added to the potential woes of the tech giant by calling for a criminal investigation into the company.
According to Axios, the move follows allegations that Twitter violated U.S. sanctions against Iran by giving leaders a social platform.
After the United States exited the Iranian nuclear deal, President Donald Trump enacted what The New York Times dubbed the “biggest sanctions action the United States had ever undertaken against Iran.”
Some measures enacted as per the sanctions demanded that American companies deny any good or service to the Islamic nation’s top officials.
Cruz has claimed that by allowing such officials — including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif — to have accounts, the company is offering service, and thus is in violation of the act.
As a result, the Texas senator has called upon Attorney General Bill Barr to launch a criminal investigation into Twitter.
“I believe that the primary goal of… sanctions law should be to change the behavior of designated individuals and regimes, not American companies,” Cruz wrote in a letter sent to the attorney general.
“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.”
This is not the first time that Cruz has voiced his criticism over Twitter’s policy of providing accounts to Iranian leaders. In fact, a number of Republican senators, including Cruz, wrote a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey back in February, urging Dorsey to ban the officials. At the time, the senators warned of the possibility of violating sanctions.
However, Twitter rejected the suggestions listed in the February letter, claiming that the company was exempt from sanctions.
“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, which is to serve the global public conversation,” wrote Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s legal lead.
Senator Cruz’s latest attack on Twitter comes as tensions have grown between the social media platform and conservative leaders — President Donald Trump among them.
As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, Trump has even considered taking action against the company, claiming that he might revoke section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The Act currently protects social media platforms from being held legally responsible for the content posted by users.