U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently accused Iran of being "a leading state sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods." Particularly concerning to the U.S. are the activities of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Quds Force, who are engaged in every conflict in the Middle East.
The IRGC have been involved in Bashar al-Assad's civil war in Syria, as well as with the Shi'ia militias in Iraq, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Designation of the IRGC as an international terrorist organization is being discussed in Washington.
In an article for United Press International by Struan Stevenson, president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association, and former member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), he writes, “But now the fascist regime in Iran has resorted to even more desperate tactics. The cruel assassination of a young television executive in Istanbul last week has unveiled a new and ruthless strategy to silence all critics. Saeed Karimian, a 42-year-old Iranian-born TV mogul and director of GEM Group, a Persian-language satellite TV network, was gunned down together with his Kuwaiti business partner in Istanbul on Saturday evening.”
The assassination carries all the trademarks of an IRGC clandestine operation, according to Stevenson. Western soap operas and other cultural programs are beamed into Iran via Karimian's GEM satellite TV network, and are deemed as anti-Islamic by the regime. Stevenson claims that, “for a number of years they have carefully laid the groundwork for his assassination by spreading fake news about the TV mogul.”
Karimian was accused of being a key member and supporter of the main Iranian opposition group, the People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI or MEK). Stevenson says that a fake photograph of Karimian standing alongside the Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi was published. In reality, the photograph was taken in the Belgian Senate on March 27, 2013, when Rajavi met with MEP Gerard Deprez and other Belgian politicians. Karimian's face was crudely doctored over the image of Deprez. It was used as evidence of Karimian's alleged "treachery," despite the fact that the TV mogul was never involved in politics and had no connection whatsoever with the MEK.
The regime's key news agencies were allegedly able to report the exact nature of the killing, despite denials of regime involvement in the assassination. Before any information was released by the Turkish authorities, it was reported that Karimian had been machine-gunned in his car by unknown assailants and that the assassins' burned-out getaway car had been found on the outskirts of Istanbul.
“The killing of Karimian is symptomatic of the new paranoia gripping the theocratic regime. Indeed, such is the palpable alarm in Tehran at the hard-line approach to their vicious regime from the Americans that the ruling mullahs are now beginning to thrash around like dangerous wounded animals. After eight years of hand-wringing appeasement by the Obama administration, the litany of human rights violations within Iran has accelerated. More than 3,000 people have been executed since the "so-called" moderate Hassan Rouhani took office as president in 2013. Ten executions have taken place in the past week and a 22 year-old man has been sentenced to have his hand amputated. Two women were hanged on Wednesday,” writes Stevenson.
With presidential elections going up on May 19, Tehran fears another uprising, similar to what took place following the second election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. The regime is afraid that hundreds of thousands may once again protest oppression and corruption, especially with Iran’s devastated economy, its impoverished people, and harsh human rights policies.
Stevenson concludes, “The visible opulence and corruption of the millionaire mullahs who have drained the country's resources and oppressed the Iranian population, while exporting terror across the zone, has turned Iran into a ticking time-bomb, ready to explode at the slightest spark. Fake news, lies and murderous attacks are the characteristic signs of a regime clinging to power by its fingernails. The killing of Karimian may yet become the final milestone in the blood-soaked journey of this cruel and pious dictatorship.”