- By Emily TamkinEmily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. She writes for FP’s The Cable, a real-time take on the news in Washington and the wider world. She has been at FP since the fall of 2016, before which she was an associate editor at New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. She has a B.A. in Russian literature from Columbia University, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European studies from the University of Oxford, and studied Soviet dissidence in archival centers in Moscow, Tbilisi, and, on a Fulbright, in Bremen — all of which means that at FP, she writes when she can on Russia and Central and Eastern Europe.
Wall Street Journal chief foreign affairs correspondent Jay Solomon was fired on Wednesday over his involvement in potential business dealings.
The story went like this: Farhad Azima, an aviation tycoon born in Iran, who, as the Associated Press puts it, “ferried weapons for the CIA,” was one of Solomon’s sources. Azima also offered Solomon a 10 percent stake in a company, Denx LLC. One might think that it goes without saying that you shouldn’t consider getting involved in business with your sources, but, since it apparently needs to be said: you shouldn’t.
“While our own investigation continues,” a WSJ spokesman told the AP, “we have concluded that Mr. Solomon violated his ethical obligations as a reporter, as well as our standards.”
Solomon, for his part, told the AP, which broke this tale of intrigue, that the deal was not actually consummated. “I never entered into any business with Farhad Azima, nor did I ever intend to. But I understand why the emails and the conversations I had with Mr. Azima may look like I was involved in some seriously troubling activities. I apologize to my bosses and colleagues at the Journal, who were nothing but great to me.”
The emails evidently cover 18 months of conversations about the business, and include an Oct. 2014 text in which Solomon says, “Our business opportunities are so promising.”
It would seem they were not all that promising: Denx apparently closed at some point last year.
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