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The Source: How Hacked Emails and a Yacht in Monaco Ended My Career at The Wall Street Journal

Jay Solomon

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Columbia Journalism Review

March 7, 2018

An inside look at the ways in which Iran and other governments use digital technologies to undermine the journalists reporting on them.

Off the coast of Monaco in the summers of 2014 and 2015, I discovered what I thought was a sort of journalistic nirvana for my job as The Wall Street Journal foreign affairs correspondent, in the form of a yacht, the Conquistador. It was owned by an Iranian-American businessman and aviation magnate named Farhad Azima, who'd grown wealthy over the decades by servicing secretive Pentagon defense contracts and growing a fleet of private aircraft. Mixed in with Azima, his family, and friends were Iranian oilmen, former US and European intelligence agents, and relatives of famous Arab arms merchants. At the core of many of our discussions was Iran, its nuclear program, and the West's frantic efforts to combat it. Time on the Conquistador bred a wealth of knowledge and stories. At times it all seemed too good to fathom, and apparently it was. This became starkly clear a couple years later...

To read the full article, download the PDF above. This story was originally published on the Columbia Journalism Review website.