Iranian TV CEO Assassinated In Istanbul

Sunday, April 30, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Apr 30, 2017

The founder and CEO of Iran’s satellite TV network Gem TV, Saeed Karimian, 45, who in 2016 was tried in absentia and sentenced to six years in prison by a Tehran court for “spreading propaganda against Iran”, was shot dead in Istanbul.

According to Dogan News, Karimian – identified by Hurriyet as a British national – and a Kuwaiti business partner were driving in Istanbul’s Maslak neighborhood after 8 p.m. (1.00 p.m. ET) on Saturday when their car was blocked by a jeep and shots were fired. Karimian died immediately after the gunmen – who were reportedly masked – opened fire on the vehicle on Saturday evening. As Reuters adds, Karimian was found dead by emergency services arriving at the scene while his associate was taken to a hospital where he passed away.

Two masked shooters got out of the jeep before opening fire, Hurriyet said. The jeep was later found abandoned and burned, Reuters adds. Turkey’s Dogan news quoted the mayor of Istanbul’s Sariyer district as saying initial police findings suggested the shooting may have prompted by a financial disagreement involving Karimian.

In a statement on its Facebook page, GEM TV confirmed Karimian had died but without making clear the circumstances of the death.

GEM TV is known for entertainment satellite channels that dub foreign films and western programmes into Farsi for Iranians. It also produces movies and TV series. It has been criticized by Iran for showing programmes which go against Islamic values and has been accused the channel of spreading Western culture. As Reuters notes, “the satellite broadcaster’s programing has angered authorities, who view it as part of a cultural “soft war” waged by the West.”

While satellite television is popular in Iran, owning a satellite dish is illegal the Guardian adds. Police and security forces occasionally smash dishes and seize receivers as authorities routinely denounce the western pop culture shown on satellite channels as decadent and un-Islamic.

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