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Cruz Moves To Fine State Department For Illegally Withholding Key Iran Report

Cruz Moves to Fine State Department for Illegally Withholding Key Iran Report

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz / AP

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) is seeking to fine the State Department for illegally withholding the release of a key report on Iranian human rights abuses that was supposed to be released earlier this year, but was withheld, according to sources, in order to appease Iran as negotiations over its nuclear program approach a June 30 deadline.

The Obama administration was legally obligated to release a full report outlining the state of Iranian human rights by Feb. 25 but has so far declined to do so.

Cruz and other senators petitioned the State Department in May to comply with federal law compelling the report’s public release.

“That report was due by law on February 25,” Cruz told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview. “The Obama State Department simply ignored the law. They refused to produce the report. Months have gone by and they continue to refuse to produce the report.”

Angered by this delay, Cruz is gearing up to file legislation this week that would fine the State Department 5 percent of its budget for every 30 days it postpones releasing the report, according to a copy of the bill viewed by the Free Beacon.

“It is a penalty for willfully violating federal law,” Cruz explained. “This is also a policy decision that is profoundly counterproductive.”

“This simply puts a financial bite into the obligation because the Obama administration has demonstrated a willingness over and over again to violate federal law,” Cruz added.

Iran has long been a leading violator of human rights, carrying out hundreds of state-sanctioned executions and abusing the human rights of its citizens. Iran also continues to imprison several American citizens who human rights advocates report are being abused.

Cruz said the report is likely being delayed in order to avoid upsetting the Iranians and potentially harming ongoing nuclear discussion. More

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