Twitter told it's violating sanctions by allowing Iran leaders to have accounts

Four US senators have asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to stop providing social media services to Iran's leaders.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert

Twitter has been asked to stop providing accounts to Iran's leaders.

Angela Lang/CNET

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been asked to stop providing social media services to Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. In a letter published Friday, US Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton and Marsha Blackburn told Dorsey that allowing those leaders to hold Twitter accounts violates an executive order issued in June 2019 by President Donald Trump. The order prohibits Americans from providing goods and services to Khamenei and his office, according to the letter.

"It is a sanctionable offense for 'any person' to have 'provided ... technological support for, or goods or services to persons designated pursuant to that EO," the letter reads.

The senators say Twitter is aware of the accounts held by Khamenei and Zarif, and of their links to the Iranian regime but "continues to provide internet-based communications services."

"While the First Amendment protects the free speech rights of Americans ... the Ayatollah enjoys zero protection from the United States Bill of Rights," the letter says. "The Ayatollah and any American companies providing him assistance are entirely subject to US sanctions laws."

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

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