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US Senators Threaten Twitter with Sanctions Unless It Bans Accounts of Imam Khamenei, Zarif

US Senators Threaten Twitter with Sanctions Unless It Bans Accounts of Imam Khamenei, Zarif
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By Staff, Agencies

A group of Republican senators has sent a letter to Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, asking him to ban the accounts of Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei and the country’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The senators’ message came amid continuing tensions between Tehran and Washington following the assassination of Iran’s top military commander martyr Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad and subsequent Iranian retaliation against American occupation military bases in Iraq.

The letter was signed on Thursday by Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton and Marsha Blackburn, who are all known for sticking to a hardline stance on Iran.

They referred in the letter to an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump last year which stipulates imposing sanctions on Imam Khamenei and those acting on his behalf, something that they claimed prohibits Twitter from providing services to Khamenei and Zarif.

“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,” the senators claimed.

Twitter has not commented on the matter yet. While the social network removed accounts owned or directly affiliated with groups blacklisted by the US State Department, it does not pursue a similar policy pertaining to those sanctioned by the Treasury Department.

In July, Twitter suspended the accounts of several major Iranian media outlets, including those of the official Islamic Republic News Agency [IRNA], the semi-official Mehr News agency and the Young Journalists Club [YJC].