UANI Calls on Greece’s Victor Restis, EST, and George Sarris to Account for the Iranian Activities of the Bergen Max Cargo Carrier
Restis-Controlled Vessel Visited Iranian Waters and Bandar Imam Khomeini Port, Contradicting Mr. Restis’s Own Assertions
UANI Calls on Ports to Exercise Caution in All Dealings with Bergen Max and EST
[Click here to view a map of one the Bergen Max’s Iran routes.]
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 account for the Iranian activities of the Bergen Max cargo carrier.
UANI has confirmed that the Bergen Max has made multiple calls to Iranian ports since 2012, and most recently docked at the port in Bandar Imam Khomeini, Iran.
The Bergen Max is owned, operated and managed by EST, which is controlled by Mr. Restis and operated by Mr. Sarris. Such business in Iran directly contradicts the statements of Mr. Restis, who, in response to a 2013 UANI campaign, categorically denied that his companies do, or have ever done, business in Iran.
Today, as part of a continuing investigation, UANI is publicly revealing evidence of the Bergen Max’s business activities in Iran. UANI tracked the Bergen Max’s recent journey from Klaipeda, Lithuania to Bandar Imam Khomeini, Iran -- from October 25, 2013 to November 24, 2013. The Bergen Max called at Bandar Imam Khomeini on November 24 and left January 26, 2014. [See route here.]
The Bergen Max has made regular ports of call in Iran, as have other EST vessels. In fact, the Bergen Max followed this same route in a February 2013 - May 2013 voyage, and called at Iranian ports in both 2012 and 2010.
Among other concerns, the Bandar Imam Khomeini port is host to the Iranian regime-controlled front company, Tidewater Middle East Co., which has been designated as a sanctioned entity by both the United States and European Union.
Said UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace:
Victor Restis, George Sarris, and Enterprises Shipping and Trading must account for the Iran business of the Bergen Max. Simply put, Mr. Restis and his affiliated businesses and colleagues are suffering from a credibility gap. First, Mr. Restis vociferously denied that his companies or vessels had any Iran business, and adamantly denounced Iran business as wrong. Then, Mr. Restis was arrested for serious criminal allegations. Now, it is revealed that a vessel under Mr. Restis’s control has frequented Iranian waters and called on the port of Bandar Imam Khomeini.
Until Mr. Restis, EST, and Mr. Sarris can demonstrate that the activities of the Bergen Max are legitimate, we call on port authorities worldwide to exercise extreme caution regarding it and other EST vessels. Regardless, Mr. Restis, EST, and Mr. Sarris must end any and all business relationships in Iran, and all EST vessels must cease making ports of call in Iran.
Click here to view statements by Mr. Restis denying any business in Iran.
Click here for news accounts of Mr. Restis’s arrest and criminal charges.