How France sabotaged Greenpeace's anti-nuclear mission
    Unveiling the Mururoa Atoll secrets

    ANALYTICS  27 February 2024 - 12:47

    Mahmud Shnir

    At a certain point in time, the Greenpeace organization, which I'll delve into later, is quite an interesting group with energetic folks always showing up at the right place and time. They managed to acquire the Rainbow Warrior trawler. Buying such a vessel is no small feat; it requires a considerable amount of money.

    However, through convincing efforts, Greenpeace gathered voluntary donations for this purpose. The story doesn't end there – Greenpeace went on to refurbish the trawler, a process that demanded even more funds to support their environmental campaigns. Despite the financial challenges, this initiative is undeniably a praiseworthy and commendable endeavour.

    So, the Rainbow Warrior sailed to Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia, situated in the South Pacific. Now, you might wonder, how many atolls are there in that part of the world? Quite a few, my dear friends. As numerous as Armenians in Marseille, one might say. However, the crucial detail is that since 1966, Mururoa Atoll has been France's primary nuclear test site. Unsurprisingly, this didn't sit well with France's geopolitical rivals. It's quite intriguing, isn't it? I wonder which country or organization, just before the Rainbow Warrior set sail, generously contributed the largest sum to Greenpeace's account. Quite a curious thought, indeed.

    The ship's mission was to make it impossible to conduct nuclear tests near the atoll. Well, after all, the cultured French would not detonate a nuclear charge when a civilian vessel belonging to such an organisation as Greenpeace was on the roadstead nearby. In general, preparations for the voyage began, and these preparations were carried out secretly. But someone leaked information about the forthcoming action to the French.

    I think it was leaked from Greenpeace itself, but in any case, French intelligence received appropriate instructions to ensure that no rainbow warriors would interfere with the planned nuclear weapons test. And it would not hurt to punish these environmentalists in an exemplary manner so that no one would dare to do so in the future. Measures should have been taken to prevent such actions from happening again. The French briefly decided to blow up the ship as it entered the port of Auckland, New Zealand.

    On the night of July 10, 1985, they planted two explosive devices in the hull of the ship. Why two? One is a precautionary one, which would not cause much damage, well, scare the environmentalists with a firecracker, you see, they will all run away. But something went wrong, and instead of running headlong, Portuguese photographer Fernando Pereira, unaware that the first explosion was a warning, ran after the camera remaining on board and was killed by the second explosion. A terrorist attack, comrades. Moreover, on the territory of another state. This is a serious matter, a matter of jurisdiction.

    As expected, an international scandal broke out, which simply could not help but break out when it turned out that the ship was blown up not by terrorists from some evil Al-Qaeda, but only by operatives from the Main Directorate of External Security of the French Ministry of Defense. The agents, of course, were caught and punished, they spent several years in a New Zealand prison, then, however, they were amnestied for health reasons and returned to France.

    The operation was authorized by the military adviser to the President of France, General Jean Monier, who assured everyone that Francois Mitterrand, the then head of state, knew nothing. But you and I are adults and we understand everything, the general's job is to divert lightning, it's not for Mitterrand himself to take the rap for such punctures. Nevertheless, politeness is above all, and while maintaining decency, Mitterrand nevertheless expressed regret over the photographer's death, but added that his special services had to act because Greenpeace had no right to interfere with France's legitimate military activities, including nuclear tests.

    Someone had to be sacrificed, and therefore the then French Defense Minister Charles Ernu had to resign, as a result, the international community received what is called "blood on the carpet", and Greenpeace... Nothing happened to Greenpeace, Greenpeace received compensation. I don't know if she covered the costs of the trawler and its reconstruction, I think she most likely covered it with interest, but I can't say anything definite about compensation to the family of the late photographer Fernando Pereira. This is a great mystery. State-owned.

    A little earlier, on July 25, 1979, the French nuclear tests took place at half the usual depth, because the device got stuck during the descent into the 800-meter shaft. As a result of the explosion, a crack 40 cm wide and several kilometres long was formed in the underwater part of the atoll. There is a danger of radioactive substances entering the ocean. France has not published data on radioactive contamination as a result of this incident. For reference: between 1966 and 1996, the French military conducted 181 nuclear tests on Mururoa. Researchers believe that even as a result of one test, all 110,000 residents of Tahiti and the Leeward Islands could receive a dose of radiation of one millisievert or more — this is the threshold set by the authorities as a criterion for paying compensation to cancer patients.

    There is also a document from the Ministry of Health of Polynesia, according to which about 11 thousand people received a dose of five millisieverts or more. Colonialism? Probably, well, they will not study the effects of radiation on the human body in the French.

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Azerbaijan's diplomatic masterstroke: Return of occupied villages marks strategic achievement New geopolitical reality

21 April 2024 - 11:43

Azerbaijani President's triumph, troubled Georgia, and a duel in the Middle East Caliber.Az weekly review

21 April 2024 - 11:22

Early Russian withdrawal from Karabakh: how has Azerbaijan’s ‘calculated risk’ strategy paid off? Contemplations with Orkhan Amashov

21 April 2024 - 10:03

Rogun Hydropower Plant in action and Tajikistan’s energy needs Blessing or curse?

19 April 2024 - 17:37

France's ambassador recall from Azerbaijan A symbolic gesture or strategic misstep?

19 April 2024 - 18:00

Pro-Armenian senator urges US to cut military aid to Azerbaijan French MP questions US diplomatic response

20 April 2024 - 11:47
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    Azerbaijani para swimmer becomes European champion

    PHOTO

    22 April 2024 - 10:27

    Greek, Turkish representatives to discuss confidence-building measures

    22 April 2024 - 10:10

    Armenia sends special forces to unblock road in border village

    22 April 2024 - 09:52

    Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli residents returning home

    PHOTO

    22 April 2024 - 09:35

    Residents of border villages protest as Armenia, Azerbaijan agree on delimitation

    22 April 2024 - 09:17

    Fossil of largest snake to have ever existed found in western India

    22 April 2024 - 09:03

    Skies fill with color at Chinese kite festival

    22 April 2024 - 08:01

    Turkish KAAN: Second prototype nears completion

    flight tests next

    22 April 2024 - 06:02

    World’s largest neuromorphic computer by Intel works like human brain

    22 April 2024 - 04:03

    Lesser known UNESCO sites to visit in 2024

    from Luxembourg to Swiss wine country

    22 April 2024 - 02:04

    Amazonian town putting world cities to shame

    22 April 2024 - 00:04

    Botswana president: Europeans care more about elephants than people

    21 April 2024 - 22:00

    Nigerian chess champion plays for 60 hours in Times Square

    breaking marathon record

    21 April 2024 - 20:03

    Massive river flooding expected in China's Guangdong, threatening millions

    21 April 2024 - 18:30

    Syrian president expresses confidence in Russia's victory in Ukraine

    21 April 2024 - 18:03

    Scientists assess land subsidence in China’s major cities

    21 April 2024 - 17:52

    Hamas leader proposes two stages of political settlement

    21 April 2024 - 17:41

    Satellite analysis allegedly confirms "Israeli strike on Iranian air base in Isfahan"

    Report by Iran International

    21 April 2024 - 17:26

    Norway welcomes border delimitation agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia

    21 April 2024 - 17:09

    Türkiye denies claims on sharing with Israel info on Kurecik radar base

    21 April 2024 - 16:52

    Türkiye detains 36 suspects linked to Daesh in nationwide raids

    21 April 2024 - 16:34

    Global trends and Azerbaijan's oil industry

    Second wind of ACG field

    21 April 2024 - 16:24

    Türkiye aims "to bring the massacre in Gaza to an end", says MFA spokesman

    21 April 2024 - 16:13

    Ukrainian, Western leaders laud US aid package

    While the Kremlin warns of "further ruin"

    21 April 2024 - 15:57

    Missile strike on Sevastopol reportedly sets fire on Russian ship

    21 April 2024 - 15:41

    Azerbaijani police find artillery shells in Gubadli

    21 April 2024 - 15:26

    Greece kickstarts peace march against US-NATO-EU wars

    21 April 2024 - 15:12

    Lithuania, Poland conducting military exercises

    21 April 2024 - 14:54

    Israel attacks Hezbollah military targets in Lebanon

    21 April 2024 - 14:40

    Russia attacks 20 settlements in Ukraine’s Kherson

    21 April 2024 - 14:26

    S. Korea, Ukraine sign framework agreement

    21 April 2024 - 14:11

    Over 8,000 people still in evacuation centres due to floods in Kazakhstan

    21 April 2024 - 13:56

    Dozens of deals scheduled to be signed during Erdogan's visit to Iraq

    21 April 2024 - 13:39

    Diplomatic World Sweden shines light on Azerbaijan's landmine challenge

    That hinders reconstruction

    21 April 2024 - 13:24

    UNGA president welcomes Azerbaijan's efforts in transition to green energy

    21 April 2024 - 13:04

    Two Japanese helicopters crash during drill

    One dead, seven missing

    21 April 2024 - 12:48

    Scale of Iran's attack on Israel shocks US

    21 April 2024 - 12:33

    Russia attacks 13 communities in Ukraine's Sumy, injuring 1

    21 April 2024 - 12:16

    Honorary Consulate of Uzbekistan opened in Azerbaijan's Ganja

    PHOTO

    21 April 2024 - 11:59

    Azerbaijan's diplomatic masterstroke: Return of occupied villages marks strategic achievement

    New geopolitical reality

    21 April 2024 - 11:43

All news