The chief foreign affairs reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Jay Solomon, has been fired over allegations that he violated the ethical guidelines of the publication after engaging in business deals with one of his sources. Some of the deals involved selling arms to enemy governments. In a statement announcing his sacking, The Wall Street Journal expressed dismay at the poor judgment of the journalist.
“The allegations raised by this reporting are serious. While our investigation continues, we have concluded that Mr. Solomon violated his ethical obligations as a reporter, as well as our standards,” read the statement.
Solomon was fired prior to the Associated Press publishing a story in which he is alleged to have been involved in a deal with an Iranian-born businessman and an arms transporter for the Central Intelligence Agency, Farhad Azima. Solomon was allegedly offered a stake of 10% in a firm fronted by the businessman. The AP report was, however, not clear whether Solomon accepted the 10% stake or whether he was the recipient of any funds from the Iranian-born businessman.
The allegations against The Wall Street Journal reporter first surfaced when the Associated Press got hold of text messages and emails that had been exchanged between Solomon and Azima. Solomon’s name also reportedly appeared in an operating agreement which the Associated Press obtained and which apparently showed he had a stake in a company registered as Denx LLC. Registration records in the state of Florida show that Denx LLC was shut down in 2016.
Two men also revealed to the Associated Press that Solomon had over the years cultivated the Iranian-born arms dealer as a source for his reports while at the same time discussing potential business deals with him. The two men also disclosed that in the end Solomon withdrew from having business dealings with Azima.
The relationship between Azima and Solomon was uncovered by the Associated Press while the news agency was working on a report about the arms dealer. Solomon has been a journalist for close to two decades and has authored the book, The Iran Wars, which explores the Shiite-majority country’s power struggles with the United States in the last couple of decades.
Solomon’s journalistic work has seen him stationed in various regions around the world including the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Some of Solomon’s work has been nominated for a Pulitzer by The Wall Street Journal on three occasions.