NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on Greek businessman Victor Restis, Enterprises Shipping and Trading S.A. (EST), and EST President George Sarris to explain the presence of their vessel, the Elbe Max, at an Iranian port on the same day they attempted to silence UANI with a lawsuit in U.S. federal court that included statements by Mr. Restis denying he did business with Iran.
UANI has confirmed that the Restis-owned and EST-managed Elbe Max was at the Iranian port of Bandar Imam Khomeini on July 19, 2013--the very day Mr. Restis and EST’s U.S. counsel filed a lawsuit against UANI in federal court.
Click here to view a map of one of the Elbe Max’s routes.
The suit included a statement by Restis’s attorney Theodore Margolis: “To be clear, Mr. Restis does not do business with Iran nor does he sanction others who do.”
Mr. Restis was arrested and jailed in Greece for criminal money laundering and embezzlement charges related to his business dealings on July 26, 2013 – the very day UANI was served with the complaint in the lawsuit.
Mr. Restis’s suit followed his multiple statements to the press, public, and UANI denying that he does business with or in Iran. Mr. Restis also pledged that he would “have my day in court.” As Restis told TradeWinds:
These allegations are unfounded. We have never had dealings with the Iranian government, ministry or any Iranian people, period. … I will have my day in court.
When provided his “day in court” where he was to testify in this matter under oath—February 11, 2014—Restis failed to appear for his deposition, as did the representative of EST. Mr. Restis’s lawyers claimed that he was unable to travel to the U.S. while the criminal charges against him in Greece were still pending.
Said UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace:
Mr. Restis filed a federal lawsuit stating that he “does not do business with Iran nor does he sanction others who do” on a day when his vessel, the Elbe Max, was at Bandar Imam Khomeini. Moreover, despite his brazen statements, on the appointed day he was called to testify under oath he failed to appear.
Mr. Restis and EST should state why they filed a lawsuit denying business with Iran while one of their vessels was actually in Iran. UANI will continue to defend itself and its efforts to highlight those who do business in Iran, and not be silenced by the bullying tactics of a Greek billionaire.
Click here to view statements by Mr. Restis denying any Iran business.
Click here for news accounts of Mr. Restis’s arrest and criminal charges.