Turkish media reported the assassins riding a Jeep vehicle blocked the path of Karimian’s Mercedes-Benz sedan, opening fire on him and the individual accompanying him. They then fled the scene and set their own vehicle ablaze.
Assassins’ vehicle, set ablaze to erase any trace
Karimian's car after terrorist attack
karimian and GEM Group
Karimian was born in 1969 in the city of Ghaen in South Khorasan Province of eastern Iran. He studied construction engineering in Basel University of Switzerland. Karimian launched the GEM("General Entertainment and Media Group")TV network group in 2007 and broadcast its programs through Hotbird and Yahsat in Europe, North Africa, Asia, North America, East Africa and South America. This network mostly airs movies and TV serials, and yet caused immense rage amongst Iranian officials.
Iran offical's fury against GEM
During its broadcasting, GEM TV was known to air ads of movies produced by Iranian directors, at a time when such ads were banned by Iranian state TV. Furthermore, various actors and artists who had departed Iran for Turkey were known to have cooperation with this TV network. In early March, branch 28 of Tehran’s Islamic Revolution court had prosecuted Karimian in absentia and sentenced him to a total of six years behind bars on charges of “propaganda against the state” and “crimes against national security”. Furthermore, advertising Iranian made goods in GEM TV was banned by the judiciary. The prosecutor had announced any cooperation with GEM TV is equivalent to violating part two of Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code, punished by 12 months behind bars.
“The objectives of satellite TV networks are common and they are all seeking to overthrow the state. However, GEM TV is different and is seeking to link itself to parties inside the country,” said Mansouri, deputy prosecutor and special interrogator in the GEM TV case on November 9, 2016.
In the past few years senior mullahs, such as Makarem Shirazi, have accused various satellite TV networks, especially GEM TV, to leading activities against the interests of Islam and belligerence against the culture of Islamic societies.
Iran’s efforts to link Karimian to the PMOI/MEK
State media in Iran accused Mr. Karimian of having links with the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).They even doctored and posted an image of Karimian standing alongside Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran issued a statement in this regard to shed necessary light on this issue:
Vicious Assassination of Saeed Karimian and His Colleague Was Carried out by IRGC Upon Order of Iran Regime's Supreme Leader
The Iranian Resistance strongly condemns the vicious assassination of Saeed Karimian, the chairman of Gem TV and his colleague in Istanbul that was carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on IRGC Day upon Khamenei’s order. The Iranian Resistance calls for the prosecution of the perpetrators and masterminds of this hideous crime, bringing them to justice, and blacklisting the IRGC.
The clerical regime is more than ever in need of domestic repression and resorting to these sorts of anti-human crimes on the verge of its sham presidential election and intensification of factional feuding.
It is worth noting that from a while ago, the media outfits affiliated to the IRGC and the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) were setting the stage for this assassination and attributing it to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).
Immediately following the assassination, the news agencies affiliated to the IRGC and its terrorist Quds Force (Fars and Tasnim) and web sites affiliated to the MOIS in a coordinated and concerted way, rehashed and propagated these lies and absurdities.
The IRGC and the MOIS had fabricated a series of lies, photos, and videos to claim that Saeed Karimian had been collaborating with the PMOI on TV productions, had grown up in Camp Ashraf as a child, and was raised there. They had also claimed that his father was one of the martyrs of the Eternal Light operation who had secretly taken all his family to Camp Ashraf. None of these claims are true. These absurd and blatant lies had actually been denied by Saeed Karimian on November 29, 2012.
Another of the dirty tricks by the IRGC was to doctor Karimian’s image next to Mrs. Maryam Rajavi on a photograph regarding her meeting at the Belgian Senate on March 27, 2013, and replacing the photo of Belgian MEP, Mr. Gerard Deprez, with that of Karimian. Both the original and the fake photos are attached for comparison.
The forged photo, and the actual photo, which has Mr. Deprez’s name in front of him as the chair of the meeting - March 27, 2013.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
April 30, 2017