By Margarita Papantoniou
Greek shipping company owner Victor Restis said he will take legal action against the American non-governmental organization (NGO) United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) which he said has slandered him.
UANI claims its organization “seeks to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons.”
In the case of Restis, the newspaper New Europe described him as “a successful ship-owner, one of these brilliant Greek minds who inherited from his father a medium shipping company, and with a series of intelligent decisions, turned it into a sound multi-billion dollar business ranging, besides his shipping empire, to banking, telecoms, energy and real estate.”
He differs from other ship-owners because, for example, he invested significant amounts to minimize carbon dioxide emissions of his vessels so, if ever the European Commission extends ETS to shipping, he will be one of the winners. UANI has accused him of violating the embargo on Iran and of acting as a “front” of the Iranian government.
The claims of UANI are based on two “documents.” According to New Europe, the first document is a letter from Dimitris Cambis, a representative of Iranian interests in Greece, where he supposedly proposed to Restis a meeting with certain Iranian personalities who, according to Schengen records, never visited Greece. Cambis stated that he never wrote such a letter and the letter is false.
The second “document” is some typewritten pages, without letterhead or signatures, which are supposedly part of a mediation contract between one of the companies of the Restis Groups and Iran.
Lawyers for estis have filed charges against UANI and the CEO of the organization, Mark Wallace in U.S. courts, in Greece and another seven countries where the Restis group has vital financial interests, the newspaper said.
On July 3, lawyer Kerrie L. Campbell, representing Restis sent a 17-page Cease and Desist letter to Wallace demanding he stop making accusations against Restis. So far, there has reportedly been no response.