Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Iran confirms it released Greek tankers after Athens did same

Press TV – November 16, 2022

Iran has confirmed reports it released two Greek-flagged tankers that had been confiscated in the country’s waters in the Persian Gulf in May after an Iranian-flagged tanker was allowed to leave Greece.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said the Greek tankers had left Iranian waters earlier in the day based on an understanding reached between maritime authorities of Iran and Greece.

The statement indicated that Iranian-flagged tanker Lana had set sail from Greece hours earlier and seven months after it was seized in the country because of US pressure.

Tanker tracking services said on Wednesday that Lana was underway from Greece and Istanbul was listed as its destination.

Data from those services showed Greek tankers Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior were underway from Iran and were sailing to ports in the United Arab Emirates for inspections before returning to Greece.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said in its statement that Iranian and Greek maritime authorities had signed a memorandum of understanding to increase their cooperation in order to improve maritime security.

It said the agreement came following months of intensive negotiations between the two countries and allowed the confiscated vessels to leave on the same day.

The statement highlighted the fact that the United States had sought to confiscate an oil cargo on Lana under false accusations that it violated the unilateral American sanctions on Iran.

It described the move as a piracy and said it was in line with previous US attempts to confiscate Iranian oil in international or territorial waters.

November 17, 2022 Posted by | Economics, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Former Greek soccer player Vassilis Tsiartas is sentenced over Facebook post accused of being transphobic

By Cindy Harper | Reclaim The Net | November 10, 2022

Former Greek soccer player Vassilis Tsiartas was fined 5,000 euro ($5,008) and given a 10-month suspended prison sentence for criticizing the legalization of gender transition surgery in children.

Tsiartas was taken to court by the Transgender Support Association, which accused him of violating a law against “racism” that contains provisions against inciting violence or hatred based on gender ideology.

In 2017, responding to a law legalizing gender identity, the former soccer player posted on  that he hoped “the first sex changes are carried out on the children of those who ratified this abomination.” He added, “Legitimize pedophiles too, to complete the crimes.”

Tsiartas is the first person to be convicted under the law against incitement to violence or hatred. The Transgender Support Association called the conviction “particularly important for the transgender community.” It added that it will continue fighting “all forms of intolerance, racism, and incitement to discrimination, hatred, and violence.”

The LGBT group also wants to “fully safeguard the human rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ and especially transgender people in every sector of the public and private sphere.”

Tsiartas plans to appeal the ruling, according to the Greek Reporter.

November 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

US is Trying to Drive Erdogan into a Corner – but Without Success

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 23.07.2022

Joe Biden’s administration is currently losing on all its foreign policy fronts, but he is still hoping for success, if nowhere else, in his confrontation with the Turkish leader Recep Erdoğan, so that he can demonstrate to the world and the US public, that there is still some “gunpowder left in the barrel.” This consideration took on a special importance for Joe Biden and his team in the days leading up to the US President’s Middle East trip, which promised little chance of victory for the White House. Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia did, in fact, turn out to be a total failure – it did nothing to improve his image and yielded no positive results either in terms of oil deals or in terms of reining in Russia’s influence in the region. In view of this failure, Washington needed to find a scapegoat, and picked on Recep Erdoğan.

The White House has realized that getting rid of the Turkish president, as it had hoped, is not going to be an easy matter, and has therefore stepped up its machinations in a bid to entrap him. One of its tactics was to inflame tensions between Turkey and Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean. Relations between the two countries are not easy at the moment, given Turkey’s demands for Athens to demilitarize certain Aegean islands near the Turkish border and its challenges to Greece’s sovereignty over these islands. At the end of June Recep Erdoğan took the rather undiplomatic approach of publishing threatening tweets in Greek, demanding that Greece give up its territorial claims in the Aegean Sea, and referring to the 1919-1922 war between the two countries: “We warn Greece once more to avoid dreams, statements and actions that will lead to regret, as it did a century ago… .” He also warned Turkey will “not hesitate to enact rights recognized by international agreements on the demilitarization of the islands.” In a later tweet he accused Greece of “oppressing” the Turkish minorities in Western Thrace, Rhodes, and Kos, and supporting international terrorism, a reference to Athens’ relations with the Kurds. Greece, in turn, accuses Turkey of violating Greek airspace, and of carrying out illegal hydrocarbon exploration activities off the coast of Cyprus – a region that, Greece claims, falls within its exclusive economic area.

Over the last 200 years there have been numerous wars between Greece and Turkey – the Greek War of Independence in 1821-1829, and subsequent conflicts in 1897, 1912–1913, 1919–1922, and, in Cyprus, 1974. But Greece was only able to win with support from powerful allies, including Russia. Currently, however, as one of the key supporters of the West’s sanctions against Russia, Greece cannot rely on support from Moscow. Athens is unlikely to get much support from the US either, as recent years have seen a marked shift in Washington’s attitude to its vassal states and even to its obligations under international agreements. Washington’s recent decision to support Greece rather than Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean region is a striking example of such a change.

As for the relative strengths of the Greek and Turkish militaries, here Athens clearly lags behind Istanbul – the Greek army may be large, but due to lack of funding its weaponry is very out of date and its troops are poorly trained. Turkey, on the other hand, has the second most powerful military in NATO, after the US.

The standoff between Greece and Turkey, both members of NATO, has been going on for a long time, but it has intensified in recent years as relations between Washington and Turkey have deteriorated and Greece has replaced Turkey as the main US ally in the region. The new military alliance in the Eastern Mediterranean was recently formalized by an agreement between the two countries on long-term military support, under which Greece will host additional four US military bases.

Washington was perhaps hoping that the heightened tensions with Greece will encourage domestic opposition to Recep Erdoğan’s policies, but the effect has in fact been quite the opposite – the Turkish public have rallied round their president. On June 20 the Turkish opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet published an article by Mehmet Ali Guler, calling on Turkey to “sever ties with NATO” and looking at how its departure from the alliance might affect the balance of powers in the region. And, according to the Greek newspaper Vima, citing an interview with the commentator Erdoğan Karakuş for the Turkish television channel Haber Global, there have even been belligerent calls within Turkey for the country to “attack the US” if the latter were to provide assistance to Greece.

Well aware of Turkey’s need to update its Air Force, Washington is making use of the situation to put pressure on Ankara. Thus, even though following the meeting between Joe Biden and Recep Erdoğan in Madrid earlier this year Congress approved the supply of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, Washington has recently made the supply conditional on Turkey demonstrating its willingness to toe the White House policy line. First, a group of US Congressmen signed a statement objecting to the sale of the jets to Turkey. And then Washington required Ankara to break off its relations with Russia as a precondition for the supply of the jets. It appears that the US is only ready to sell its military hardware to countries that share its values. According to a report from the Greek press agency AMNA, that was the stance taken by Senator Robert Menendez, Chair of the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

The US House of Representatives has also obstructed the sale, by approving an amendment to the defense budget preventing the US from transferring the jets to Turkey unless the Turkish government guarantees that they will not be used in order to violate Greek airspace.

In response to these moves, Turkey reiterated its support for Recep Erdoğan’s policies, making no secret of the fact that anti-American sentiments are growing in the country. For example, according to the Turkish newspaper Aydınlık, Doğu Perinçek, President of the Vatan Partisi, or Patriotic Party, called on the Turkish government to cancel its order for the F-16s on national security grounds.

Given the above background, it is interesting to speculate about the content of the private meeting between Recep Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 19. Especially since Russian military aircraft have demonstrated their clear superiority of US jets both in Syria and in Ukraine. Moreover, Turkey and Russia have in recent months been stepping up their cooperation on defense industry projects, and, in an interview published in Turkey’s Milliyet newspaper last December, Ismail Demir, President of Turkey’s Defense Industries, stated that the two countries may work together on the development of Turkish TF-X jets. Unlike the US, Russia will not impose any conditions on Turkey that go against its interests, nor will it push the Turkish Air Force into a corner by refusing to service its aircraft when Turkey most needs them, as the US is quite capable of doing should its strategic interests so require.

July 23, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

All of Greece turned into ‘huge US base,’ Greek lawmaker warns

Press TV – June 15, 2022

The Greek government has turned the whole country into a “huge US base,” a local lawmaker warned on Tuesday, amid attempts by Washington to expand its access to military zones across the European country.

Kleon Grigoriadis, in a speech in the Greek parliament on Tuesday, lambasted the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis over its foreign policy for allowing the United States to turn the whole of Greece into a massive American base.

“At the moment, American soldiers, not Turkish soldiers, are wandering in Crete, Alexandroupoli, Larisa, and other areas left by (the left-wing party) Syriza’s old comrades to the United States. Let’s be clear: Greece has now turned into a huge US base,” said the lawmaker, who is a deputy of the left-wing MeRA25 party,” he remarked.

Grigoriadis warned that an atmosphere of war with Turkey has been created in the press. He said Greek citizens have been intimidated by such a perception in an attempt to make acceptable the conversion of Greece into an American military base.

The lawmaker said the Greek people should learn from history lest their country turns into a tool for big powers.

“History shows that big powers use small powers as tools and use them for their own interests regardless of the pain they may cause, as in 1922,” Grigoriadis said.

Grigoriadis’s comments almost echoed last week’s remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who objected to the presence of US bases in Greece.

“Currently, nine US military bases have been established in Greece. Whom have they been deployed against? They say that against Russia. But we won’t buy that,” Erdogan said at the time.

Turkey and Greece have been at loggerheads for years over hydrocarbon resources and naval influence in the eastern Mediterranean.

In May, Erdogan said there were nearly ten American bases in Greece, asking: “Who is being threatened with these bases? Why are these bases being established in Greece?”

Back in November 2021, he warned that Greece itself had become a US military base. “At the moment, I can’t count all the American bases in Greece, there are so many. … It almost looks like Greece itself is a US base.”

The Greek authorities recently seized a tanker carrying Iranian oil in its territorial waters, under US pressure. The oil cargo was later transferred to the US, a move denounced by Iran as an “act of piracy”.

On Tuesday, Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) said in a statement that an Iranian-flagged tanker seized in April was released by Greek authorities.

“The Greek government finally issued an order and we are now witnessing the lifting of the ship’s seizure and the return of its cargo to its owner,” it said.

Iran’s foreign ministry had condemned the unacceptable surrender of Greece to Washington’s illegal pressure and reiterated that the seizure was an example of international piracy.

The seizure of the Iranian oil tanker took place at a time when the US administration claims it seeks the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran deal. So far, talks for the revival of the 2015 deal have come to a standstill.

Days after the seizure, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) seized two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf over violations.

June 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 3 Comments

Greek Court Overrules Decision to Comply With US Request to Seize Cargo of Iranian Oil Tanker

Samizdat – 09.06.2022

An Iranian tanker carrying oil was stopped off the Greek coast at the request of the US, based on unilateral sanctions targeting Iran’s oil trade. Tehran condemned Athens for bending to Washington’s orders and lambasted the impounding as an act of state piracy.

A Greek Appeals court overruled an earlier ruling that had prompted impounding of Iranian tanker Lana’s oil cargo in favour of the US, Iran’s embassy in Athens has stated. The confiscation of the cargo was earlier appealed by Tehran.

It is unclear if either Athens or the US will be challenging the decision of the Appeals court, however, an anonymous source claimed in an interview with Reuters that it might not be easy to achieve.

“The action for the reversal of the ruling was accepted by the court. It will be hard to overrule [the appeal court’s ruling]”, the legal source claimed.

The oil in question was removed from Luna to another vessel hired by the US authorities in May as the court was still reviewing Tehran’s appeal. It was then supposed to be moved to the US, but it is unclear if the ship transporting the Iranian oil, which now must be returned to the owner, has reached US shores.

Iran’s embassy in Greece expressed hope that the crude can still be returned. The embassy said that it is conducting “intensive consultations” with Athens to “ensure full implementation” of the court’s latest ruling.

“With God’s grace, the entire oil shipment will be returned [to Iran],” the embassy said.

The tanker Luna itself has since been released and arrested by Greek authorities again. The first time the ship was arrested was in April in a response to the order coming from the US, which slapped sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and now hunts for its oil tankers around the world. The second arrest, however, is related to unpaid towing services, according to report by Reuters citing a lawyer representing an unnamed company behind the arrest order.

Iran condemned the actions of Athens, equalling them to state piracy and vowing to respond. Several weeks later Iran seized two Greek ships sailing on the fringes of Iranian national waters, accusing both of “maritime violations”. Athens slammed the arrest of the ships sailing under its flag, while several media outlets alleged that their arrest could have been a retaliation for impounding Luna’s cargo.

Iran’s top security official: Retaliatory measure best way to defend country against bullying

Press TV – June 9, 2022

The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) says the change in Greece’s approach to illegal confiscation of an Iranian tanker on the US order proves that retaliatory measure is the best way to protect the country against bullying.

Ali Shamkhani made the remark in a Thursday tweet after reports indicated that a Greek court has overturned an earlier ruling that allowed the United States to confiscate part of a shipment of Iranian crude on an Iranian-flagged vessel seized in the European country’s territorial waters.

“The action for the reversal of the ruling was accepted by the court,” a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. “It will be hard to overrule that (the appeal court’s ruling).”

The change in Greece’s behavior came after Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) retaliated Athens’ measure by seizing two Greek ships in the Persian Gulf for violations of rules and regulations. Tehran had already announced that it was going to take “punitive action” against Athens.

Reacting to the Greek court’s verdict, Shamkhani said, “The change in Greece’s behavior following Iran’s proportionate and powerful reaction to illegal seizure of its tanker on the US’ order, along with scores of other experiences, proves that the sole way to defend the country’s rights in the face of bullying, both in the case of JCPOA and in the [International Atomic Energy] Agency is retaliatory measure.”

Iran’s embassy in Athens on Thursday confirmed that the Greek Appeals court has overturned the initial ruling on the confiscation of Iranian oil following intensive follow-up.

“With God’s grace, the entire oil shipment will be returned [to Iran],” the embassy tweeted.

It added that the issue will remain on the agenda of “intensive consultations” between Iran and Greece to “ensure full implementation of the ruling.”

The embassy emphasized that preserving the Iranian nation’s rights is a red line.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry late last month summoned the Greek chargé d’affaires to protest the seizure of the Iranian-flagged vessel and confiscation of its crude cargo.

The ministry official condemned Greece’s “unacceptable” surrender to “illegal” US pressures and said the “seizure of the cargo of the ship” with the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran was “an example of international piracy.”

June 9, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , | Leave a comment

Greek Opposition Demands Legal Clarification for Confiscation of Iranian Oil at US Behest

Samizdat | May 31, 2022

ATHENS – Greek largest opposition party, Coalition of the Radical Left – Progressive Alliance (SYRIZA), on Tuesday asked the Greek government to clarify the legal grounds for the confiscation of Iranian oil from a former Russian-flagged tanker at the request of the United States.

“What was the legal basis for the US request for legal assistance in confiscating oil from the tanker? Was the proposal of the [Greek] anti-money laundering authority to continue the detention of the Russian ship contrary [to the US request]? On what legal basis did the ship remain detained during the time between the cancellation of the original decision about its arrest by the anti-money laundering authority and the decision of the one-judge trial court of Chalcis to grant the US request?” the party said in a statement.

The party added that initially, the anti-money laundering authority decided not to confiscate Iranian oil or detain the tanker. US sanctions against Iran are not considered legal by the EU and Greece, the party noted.

The party also asked what actions had been taken for the immediate release of the crew, and why Greece did not receive significant support from the US, which initiated the process of confiscation.

Last Friday, Iran’s armed forces captured two Greek-flagged oil tankers — the Delta Poseidon and the Prudent Warrior — in Persian Gulf waters, reportedly in response to the seizure of the Iranian-flagged tanker Lana in Greek waters in mid-April on suspicion that it was avoiding EU sanctions. The US claimed that the vessel was carrying Iranian crude, subject to US sanctions, and requested that the cargo be handed over to it, despite later reports that it was a Russian-flagged tanker Pegas that had changed its ownership before entering Greek waters.

May 31, 2022 Posted by | Economics, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Spill from transfer of seized Iran oil alarms Greek environmentalists

Press TV – May 30, 2022

Local sources in Greece are reporting a growing spill from the country’s transfer of oil from an Iranian tanker seized recently off the Greek coast.

They have published images of the pollution in the Greek port of Karistos, blaming it for “non-standard” transfer without observing environmental principles.

The spill has already drawn protests from local environmentalists, the report said.

“Even if only one-thousandth of a shipment leaks during the transfer process at sea, the environmental damage will be incalculable,” the Greek Environmental Protection Association Karistos said in a statement.

“We have a legitimate interest in requesting that the tanker be removed immediately from the Gulf of Karistos and relocated to a safe transfer area,” it said.

The statement said the Karistos environment should not pay “another heavy price for the government’s political choices, and the Russian tanker should leave the port”.

The tanker, carrying Iranian oil, was seized in Greek waters under the pretext of violating sanctions and its cargo was ordered by the US to be moved to another vessel.

Iran condemned the seizure “an example of international piracy”, the responsibility of which “lies with the Greek government and the illegal occupants”. The charge d’affaires of the Greek embassy in Tehran was summoned to Iran’s ministry of foreign affairs and notified of the Islamic Republic strong indignation.

The Ports and Maritime Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran also issued a statement calling on the Greek government to fulfill its international obligations in this regard.

Earlier, Reuters quoted unnamed sources as saying that the US Department of Justice had confiscated 700,000 barrels of Iranian oil cargo off the southern Greek island of Evia on board a Russian-operated ship.

On Friday, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) seized two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf over violations.

“The IRGC Navy today seized two Greek oil tankers for violations they have carried in the azure waters of the Persian Gulf,” the IRGC said in a statement.

Earlier that day, Iran’s Nour News reported that the country was going to take “punitive action” against Greece over the Iranian tanker’s seizure.

Tasnim news agency said a total of 17 Greek ships were sailing in the Persian Gulf, warning of further confiscations if Greece continued to take orders from the United States.

At least nine crew members on board the vessels are currently in the IRGC custody. Officials have said they are not detained and are in good health.

Senior political commentator Mohammad Marandi told Press TV that by seizing the Greek-flagged tankers, Tehran intends to send a message to Washington and its allies, “warning them against harming Iran’s oil trade.”

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism | , | Leave a comment

Iran seizes Greek tankers after US ‘piracy’

Samizdat | May 27, 2022

Iranian soldiers seized two oil tankers flying the Greek flag in the Persian Gulf on Friday, while Tehran protested the confiscation of one of its own vessels in Greek waters earlier this week, calling it US “piracy.” Washington reportedly plans to sell the ship’s oil cargo, which was confiscated under sanctions targeting Russia.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy troops used helicopters to board the tankers Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior on Friday, the industry monitor Lloyd’s List reported. The ships were “later escorted by naval vessels from international traffic lanes to Iranian waters a few miles off the coast,” according to the same source.

The Greek Foreign Ministry confirmed the seizure of the two vessels and demanded their release. Iranian media likewise confirmed the capture of the ships, making clear it was reprisal against the actions of the government in Athens. More than 25% of the world’s tankers fly the Greek flag.

“The Islamic Republic has decided to take punitive measures against Greece after it seized an Iranian tanker and let the US government confiscate its crude oil,” reported Nour News, an outlet affiliated with the IRGC.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Ministry had summoned the ambassador of Switzerland – which represents US interests in Tehran – to protest the seizure of the Iranian-flagged tanker Pegas in Greek waters on Wednesday.

“The Islamic Republic expressed its deep concern over the US government’s continued violation of international laws and international maritime conventions,” according to the state news agency IRNA.

Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization said the tanker had sought shelter along the Greek coast from bad weather after experiencing technical problems, and called the seizure of its cargo “a clear example of piracy.”

While the US government did not officially comment, Reuters reported on Thursday that Washington was planning to take the oil to the US on board another vessel, quoting three sources familiar with the matter.

The US has sanctioned Iran’s oil exports and previously seized Iranian tankers bound for Venezuela, citing its sanctions against Caracas. The capture of Pegas, however, seems to be related to sanctions against Moscow.

Pegas was previously owned by the Russian company Transmorflot and was sanctioned by the US on February 22, two days before the hostilities in Ukraine began. Transmorflot itself was sanctioned on May 8, but Pegas – renamed Lana on March 1 – was already under Iranian ownership by then and has been flying Tehran’s flag since May 1.

May 27, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 2 Comments

Iran summons Swiss envoy to protest US seizure of Iranian oil cargo

Press TV – May 27, 2022

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned the chargé d’affaires of Switzerland, which represents Washington’s interests in Tehran, to protest the US seizure of Iranian oil cargo from a Russian-operated ship in Greece’s territorial waters.

“The Swiss chargé d’affaires was summoned to convey Iran’s concern and strong protest over the continued violation of international laws and maritime conventions concerning free navigation and trade by the US administration,” the director-general of the ministry’s department for American Affairs, said in a statement on Friday.

The ministry also demanded the immediate release of the seized ship and its confiscated cargo.

The Swiss envoy, according to the statement, assured that he would convey Iran’s message to American officials.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Iran’s foreign ministry had summoned the Greek chargé d’affaires to lodge its protest over the same matter.

The ministry officials condemned Greece’s “unacceptable” surrender to “illegal” US pressures and said the “seizure of the cargo of the ship” with the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran was “an example of international piracy.”

In a Thursday report, Reuters news agency cited unnamed sources saying the US Department of Justice had confiscated 700,000 barrels of Iranian oil cargo seized last month off the southern Greek island of Evia onboard a Russian-operated ship.

A Greek source was quoted in the report as saying that the oil cargo had been transferred to another ship hired by Washington and was supposed to be sent to the US, adding that the US Department of Justice had “informed Greece that the cargo on the vessel is Iranian oil.”

Another source was cited as saying that the Iranian oil cargo was currently being transferred to the Liberia-flagged tanker Ice Energy, which is operated by Greek shipping company Dynacom.

The ship, previously operating under the Russian flag, was sailing in international waters when it was forced to anchor near Greece over technical problems.

Iranian authorities have said they will hold the Greek government responsible for the confiscation of crude.

It is the second time the US has confiscated Iranian oil outside its territorial waters on trumped-up charges brought by American courts.

In 2020, four cargoes of Iranian oil bound for Venezuela were seized by the US with the help of foreign agents. The cargoes were then sold for more than $40 million, according to reports.

The latest incident comes amid stalled talks between Iran and world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal four years after Washington unilaterally walked out of the agreement and reinstated crippling sanctions on Iran.

Iran has blamed the lack of decisiveness in Washington for the pause in talks to salvage the deal. US authorities said on Wednesday that chances of reviving the agreement were very bleak, pointing to their reluctance.

May 27, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

‘Greece seizes Russian oil tankers’

Samizdat | April 19, 2022

Greece seized a Russian oil tanker in the Aegean Sea on Tuesday as part of European Union sanctions imposed on Moscow over the war in Ukraine, Kathimerini daily has reported.

According to the newspaper, the Russian-flagged Pegas ship, with 19 crew members on board, was seized on April 19 near the coastal city of Karystos on the southern coast of the island of Evia.“It has been seized as part of EU sanctions,” a shipping ministry official was quoted as saying.

A coastguard spokeswoman told AFP that the seizure order concerned the ship itself and would not affect its cargo.

Greek media had reported earlier that the vessel faced engine trouble and was being escorted by a tugboat towards the Peloponnese, but was forced to moor at Karystos due to poor weather.

According to the Maritime Bulletin portal, another Russian tanker, VF Tanker 2, was detained earlier near Euboea due to EU sanctions. The vessel reportedly left the port of Piraeus on April 17, bound for Russian Kavkaz port in the Black Sea, but for some unknown reason ended up in Karystos Bay.

The European Union, of which Greece is a member, has adopted a wide range of sanctions against Moscow. They include import and export bans for a wide array of goods, as well as an embargo on access to EU ports by Russian-flagged ships. Russian oil aboard those ships has not been sanctioned.

April 19, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski speaks out against Canada’s “concerning” internet censorship bill

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | January 13, 2022

Chris Pavlovski, the CEO of free speech video sharing platform Rumble, has warned that Canada’s controversial internet regulation proposal, Bill C-10, will give the government the power to “control what you see” and noted that this bill and other internet regulation proposals are making it tough for companies like Rumble to compete with the tech giants.

“The legislation that is gonna come that…I think is even more concerning is Bill C-10 in Canada where they wanna have the government actually regulate what kind of content you are displaying… through the CRTC [Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission] and think about that, they’re gonna control what you see now,” Pavlovski said during an appearance on the Timcast IRL podcast.

Bill C-10 failed to pass the Senate before the summer break last year and is currently awaiting Senate approval. Then-Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, who promoted the bill, said its purpose is to “regulate the internet and social media in the same way that it regulates national broadcasting.” Free speech advocates have warned that it’s a “censorship bill that would allow governments to control what you see and say online.”

While it’s unclear if Bill C-10 will pass, Pavlovski noted that Canada has proposed other internet regulations that could be introduced in the next year and that Rumble is preparing for potential new laws in the country by moving its headquarters to Florida this year.

Pavlovski also discussed how these types of regulations add complexity and create barriers to entry for smaller companies like Rumble who are attempting to compete with tech giants such as YouTube.

“We have to find a way to meet the laws of every country,” Pavlovski said. “This gets so complicated.”

Pavlovski said Rumble has to have lawyers help it in every jurisdiction and that this makes operating in multiple countries difficult.

“The barrier of entry just to enter this market is, is so difficult,” Pavlovski said. “To be like YouTube and to compete against YouTube, you need, like, significant financing, significant legal help… it is a lot to navigate, it’s so complicated.”

Although Bill C-10 is currently in limbo, Trudeau’s government is pushing another internet censorship law – Bill C-36.

“People think that C-10 was controversial,” Guilbeault said when promoting Bill C-36. “Wait until we table this legislation.”

Bill C-36 proposes holding social media companies liable for “hurtful content” and will allow Canadians to anonymously flag hurtful content to have it taken down. It also suggests fines of up to $50,000 for online “hate speech.”

Canada is one of many jurisdictions pushing national online speech laws that create the barriers to entry for smaller Big Tech competitors that Pavlovski described. The UK is pushing an “Online Safety Bill” that would block social media platforms that fail to remove “legal but harmful content,” Australia recently passed an “Online Safety Act” that fines platforms that fail to remove content when ordered, and Greece recently passed a law that criminalizes “fake news.”

January 13, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Greece plans to send troops to the Sahel

By Lucas Leiroz | December 2, 2021

In a recent statement, the Greek government confirmed Athens’ interest in sending troops to cooperate with the French armed forces in the African Sahel. The project is still under consideration but tends to be approved due to the strong pressure that Greece receives from Paris to “compensate” French efforts to protect Greek territorial integrity in tensions with Turkey. The move sounds truly anti-strategic for Greece, considering that the country will have enemies it previously did not have and will enter conflicts that have nothing to do with Greek geopolitical interests.

In a recent press conference, Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said that his country’s political and military leaders are currently discussing the feasibility of sending troops to Africa, where soldiers will join French military bases in order to assist in the Paris-led campaign against insurgent groups that are proliferating in the Sahel and across the region between the Sahara Desert and the West Coast.

These were some of his words: “We are considering sending a group of combat soldiers to Sahel. These are not military advisers, we already have such in the area, these are permanent combat members of the Armed Forces (…) If Turkey tries to attack and we ask for help from France, based on the military agreement we have signed, then the French forces will be there, they must be there (…) We are for them and they are for us”.

When talking about this possibility of mutual assistance, Panagiotopoulos is mentioning the recent bilateral defense cooperation agreement signed by both countries in October, which determine a series of measures to be implemented in order to strengthen the Franco-Greek military partnership. The agreement establishes that both countries must cooperate militarily with each other in conflict scenarios and also enumerates forms of commercial cooperation through measures such as, for example, the requirement that the Greek State buy frigates produced by the French naval industry.

Panagiotopoulos categorically states that sending Greek troops to Africa is a strategic measure for Greece, since, as a way of complying with the agreement signed with Paris, it would create a favorable precedent in bilateral relations and compel the French to repay the kindness, in case tensions escalate with Turkey in the future. However, Panagiotopoulos’ premise is absolutely wrong. It is not Greece that is setting this type of condition, but France. Athens is not freely proposing to send its soldiers to the Sahel – it is France that is demanding it, so there is no reason to consider this type of maneuver profitable in any way for the Greeks.

In the same sense, this type of cooperation would never benefit Greece for the simple fact that there is no military equivalence between both countries. France is one of the greatest military powers in the world, with high combat power and even nuclear weapons, maintaining an active expansionist policy in Africa and the Mediterranean, in addition to occupying a leading and prominent role in the European Union. The current situation of the Greek State is that of a country with very low military capacity, which is under constant pressure from an insurgent and expansionist power (Turkey) and which seeks alliances with France in order to defend its territorial integrity in the face of imminent threats. For France to demand “retribution” from Greece for its support on the Turkish issue is truly absurd, considering that Greece already has enough problems and difficulties just in its tensions with Turkey. Sending soldiers to Africa will significantly weaken Greece’s defense potential and leave the country even more vulnerable in its regional conflicts. So, Paris is acting abusively by requesting Greek troops in the Sahel.

Obviously, if both countries already have an agreement, this must be accomplished – or vetoed. The attitude that most benefits Greek strategic interests would be to find non-direct ways of cooperating with France on the Sahel, perhaps with logistical or intelligence support, but renouncing active military participation. If France continued to demand the deployment of troops, Athens would simply have to abandon the bilateral agreement and find another, less abusive way to establish partnerships. The current situation seems unsustainable. France will be weakening Greece with the demand for troops in African territory, and there is no sense for Athens to continue in a military agreement, whose objective is to strengthen the defense.

For years, France has maintained troops in the Sahel without any success in controlling the region. Paris is unable to maintain an occupation policy throughout the Sahel due to the immensity of the territory, which makes the area vulnerable to occupation by insurgent groups. Clandestine militias – some of them terrorists – currently control much of the Sahel zone and French troops are failing to pacify the region.

Furthermore, it is necessary to remember that in recent months a wave of indignation has started on the part of African communities against the French occupation. The main cities of West Africa are experiencing demonstrations in favor of the expulsion of the French armed forces due to the chaos and widespread, inefficient violence while being unable to contain the spread of terrorism in the region. In fact, it has become increasingly complicated for France to maintain its expansionism on African soil and now Paris seems interested in handing over to Athens a part of the responsibility of managing the chaos created by the French in the Sahel.

The Greek government has nothing to gain by engaging in civil wars on another continent that have absolutely nothing to do with Athens’ geopolitical interests. France is acting abusively by delegating the responsibility for this conflict to the Greeks. It is up to the Greek government to act prudently and avoid further conflicts, seeking to strengthen the country to face the current problems.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

December 2, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment