EST and Restis Either Contravened or Fabricated Internal Policy
Prohibiting Iran Business
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
On Tuesday, United
Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on Greek shipper Victor Restis,
Enterprises Shipping and Trading S.A. (EST), and EST President George
Sarris to clarify EST’s internal policy prohibiting business in Iran.
EST has finally admitted what it and Mr. Restis had repeatedly denied –
that its vessels have been making repeated visits to Iran. As UANI
revealed yesterday, Mr. Restis’s Greek lawyer, Antonis Lagadianos, has
data showing that Restis-owned and EST-managed vessels made eight
(8) separate ports of call to Iranian ports during 2012-2013. At least
one such vessel is docked at the Iranian port of Bandar Imam Khomeini
today, which hosts the sanctioned Iranian entity, Tidewater Middle East
The recent admissions by EST of continued Iranian business dealings
directly contradict not only numerous
public statements by Mr. Restis, but EST’s own purported policy
prohibiting the transaction of any business in or with Iran. Indeed,
during its discussions with UANI, EST and Restis represented as follows:
… Enterprises Shipping and Trading S.A., and its subsidiaries and
affiliated companies and persons, including Golden Energy Marine Corp., have
in place a comprehensive written compliance policy which strictly
prohibits them from doing any business in or with the Islamic Republic
of Iran or its agents and instrumentalities. The officers, directors
and management of Enterprises Shipping and Trading S.A., Golden Energy
Marine Corp., and their subsidiaries and affiliated companies and
persons, including Victor Restis, commit to continue to uphold and
enforce this policy. … [emphasis added]
Clearly, the facts surrounding EST’s Iran business activities, as
confirmed by EST’s Greek lawyers as well as in a February 10, 2014 EST
press release, suggest that EST and Restis were, and are, in clear
violation of their own policy, if such a policy ever existed in the
Said UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace:
Mr. Restis and Mr. Sarris represented to UANI that EST had an internal
policy that “strictly prohibit[ed] them from doing any business in or
with the Islamic Republic of Iran or its agents and instrumentalities.”
Now, after repeated denials, a Greek lawyer for Mr. Restis and EST have
admitted that EST vessels have made frequent calls in Iran.
There are only two explanations for this contradiction: either Mr.
Restis and EST have violated and are violating their own “strict” policy
prohibiting business dealings in Iran, or no such policy ever existed.
This stark contradiction again raises serious questions about the
credibility of Mr. Restis and EST. If EST did indeed adopt a policy
“strictly” prohibiting business in Iran, then Mr. Sarris and Mr. Restis
should explain why EST repeatedly violated it by calling at Iranian
ports. If there was no such policy in place, then Mr. Sarris and Mr.
Restis must explain their justification for making such a false
All responsible persons, businesses and regulators should exercise
caution when dealing with Mr. Restis and EST in light of EST’s
systematic violation of its own internal governance policies and/or its
false representation of such polices. Taken together with Mr. Restis’s
false statements denying any business in Iran, a disturbing pattern and
practice has emerged.
Mr. Restis and EST must transparently and openly account for all of
their Iran business and adhere to a concrete and unwavering policy that
prohibits any form of business transaction in Iran, a terror sponsoring
regime that has an illegal nuclear program and that has called for the
annihilation of the state of Israel. Regardless, as a result of their
sham lawsuit against UANI and its staff, Mr. Restis and EST have cost
UANI vast attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses and damages for which they
will be held responsible.
to view Antonis Lagadianos’s email regarding EST vessels visits to Iran
ports and UANI’s counsel’s response.
to view statements by Mr. Restis denying any business with Iran.
for news accounts of Mr. Restis’s arrest and criminal charges.
United Against Nuclear Iran
Nathan Carleton, 212-554-3296
Source: United Against Nuclear Iran