Cruz threatens to fine State Department over delayed release of Iran rights report

Flouting the law once again, the Obama administration refuses to release a report detailing Iranian human rights violations.  By federal statute, the report was supposed to be released February 25.  But not wanting to embarrass his new friends in Tehran, Obama has refused to obey the law and give Congress the information required.

Senator Ted Cruz wants to fine the State Department for their foot-dragging.

Washington Free Beacon:

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.

“It appears that both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are trying to sweep under the rug Iran’s horrific human rights record because, presumably, acknowledging that fact would be inconvenient” for the ongoing diplomacy with Iran, Cruz said.

The policy, he added, appears to be “surrender everything to the Iranian mullahs in a hope they will accede to a [nuclear deal that only accelerates their acquiring nuclear weapons.”

The lawmaker and current presidential candidate went on to accuse the administration of ignoring Iranian human rights abuses.

“This administration has consistently refused to address the human rights violations” committed by Iran, including the imprisonment of Americans such as Saeed Abedini and Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, Cruz said.

“The Obama administration seems more focused on swilling Chardonnay with Iranian despots then on securing the release of American citizens wrongly imprisoned,” he said.

The State Department's "The dog ate my homework" excuse? S ecretary Kerry's travel schedule:

“The secretary’s participation in the report rollout, even if it must be delayed by his travel, elevates the report,” the State Department said, according to a copy of the letter. “The secretary has needed to travel abroad for extended periods, often on short notice, during the past three months to address a variety of pressing foreign policy concerns.”

Kerry's travel schedule over the last three months is irrelevant.  The report was due out in February – that's four months ago.  I guess they're not very good at counting at State these days.

And how about that claim that the delay "elevates the report"?  Are they insane?  Who believes that except five-year-olds and liberals?

Cruz should give any cash the State Department pays in fines to Iranian human rights groups.  Given the tyranny they live under, they can use it.

Flouting the law once again, the Obama administration refuses to release a report detailing Iranian human rights violations.  By federal statute, the report was supposed to be released February 25.  But not wanting to embarrass his new friends in Tehran, Obama has refused to obey the law and give Congress the information required.

Senator Ted Cruz wants to fine the State Department for their foot-dragging.

Washington Free Beacon:

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.

“It appears that both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are trying to sweep under the rug Iran’s horrific human rights record because, presumably, acknowledging that fact would be inconvenient” for the ongoing diplomacy with Iran, Cruz said.

The policy, he added, appears to be “surrender everything to the Iranian mullahs in a hope they will accede to a [nuclear deal that only accelerates their acquiring nuclear weapons.”

The lawmaker and current presidential candidate went on to accuse the administration of ignoring Iranian human rights abuses.

“This administration has consistently refused to address the human rights violations” committed by Iran, including the imprisonment of Americans such as Saeed Abedini and Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, Cruz said.

“The Obama administration seems more focused on swilling Chardonnay with Iranian despots then on securing the release of American citizens wrongly imprisoned,” he said.

The State Department's "The dog ate my homework" excuse? S ecretary Kerry's travel schedule:

“The secretary’s participation in the report rollout, even if it must be delayed by his travel, elevates the report,” the State Department said, according to a copy of the letter. “The secretary has needed to travel abroad for extended periods, often on short notice, during the past three months to address a variety of pressing foreign policy concerns.”

Kerry's travel schedule over the last three months is irrelevant.  The report was due out in February – that's four months ago.  I guess they're not very good at counting at State these days.

And how about that claim that the delay "elevates the report"?  Are they insane?  Who believes that except five-year-olds and liberals?

Cruz should give any cash the State Department pays in fines to Iranian human rights groups.  Given the tyranny they live under, they can use it.