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Coming soon to your local neighborhood! The Iranian owner of GemTV, a Middle East satellite TV company that is banned in Iran, was assassinated in Istanbul on Saturday.
Saeed Karimian, a 45-year old Iranian-British citizen living in Istanbul, and his as yet unnamed Kuwaiti business associate, were driving in a car in an Istanbul suburb on Saturday evening when another car driven by unidentified assailants blocked their way and its occupants opened fire. Karimian was pronounced dead at the scene while his Kuwaiti associate died later that evening from his wounds in hospital.
Karimian was the founder and owner of Gem TV, a satellite television company that broadcast multiple channels in Farsi, Arabic, and Azeri. Gem TV maintains offices in London, Istanbul, and Dubai, and broadcasts numerous Turkish and other foreign soap operas, and Western programming, into Iran. Karimian was sentenced to six years in prison in absentia in January 2017 by the Iranian government for broadcasting banned content in Iran, described by Tehran as “propaganda.”
While it is not certain whether this was a hit job by Iran, or by business competitors, it seems the circumstantial evidence makes Iran the prime suspect.
Increasingly, the free world is under siege by those who do not like it, whether on American college campuses or on the streets of Istanbul. Worse, that it is increasingly becoming acceptable that a businessman could be gunned down so nonchalantly, whether by a foreign power or by business rivals, bodes badly for freedom and civilization. We are not fighting back, and the bad guys are beginning to realize it.
Update: In related news, Boeing officials travel to Iran to negotiate airplane deal.
Representatives from Boeing traveled to Iran last month to meet with Hossein Alaei, CEO of Aseman Airlines, which is owned and controlled by the state. Boeing is moving forward with a $3 billion dollar deal to sell new planes to Aseman despite fierce opposition on Capitol Hill and direct evidence Iran has used commercial aircraft to ferry weapons and fighters across the region.
A photograph from the meeting shows a Boeing representative shaking hands with Alaei, who has been identified by Congress as a “prominent and longtime member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” which is responsible for killing and wounding scores of U.S. troops. The Boeing representative was not named in reports from the Iranian-controlled press or in information provided by U.S. foreign policy insiders.
Alaei, who was a senior figure in the IRGC before being installed as CEO of Aseman Airlines, served as commander of the IRGC Navy until 1990. Alaei oversaw the harassment of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf and efforts by the IRGC Navy to plant mines in international waters. Alaei was quoted during this time as threatening to “destroy” U.S. Navy assets in the region. “We have drawn up plans whereby we will utilize all our military capability to destroy the U.S. fleet and solve the Persian Gulf issue once and forever,” Alaei was quoted as saying in 1987. “The Americans are here to fight us.”
I am somehow reminded of the phrase, “buying from them the rope to hang them.”