Israel refuses to pay oil debt to Iran

PNN/ Jerusalem/

A Swiss court on Wednesday ordered the Israeli Eilat Ashkelon pipeline company to commit to its financial debt and compensation to Iran, which hit about $1.1 billion.

Haaretz said that the compensation ruling follows a long-running legal battle between the two countries over the revenues from an oil pipeline joint venture that dates back to before the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Israel has been stalling and refusing to pay, saying that it is forbidden to transfer money to the enemy, including the Iranian national oil company,” the Finance Ministry statement said.

According to the Iranian news agency, IRNA, the latest ruling pertains to a case related to the National Iranian Oil Company’s delivery of 14.75 million cubic meters of crude oil worth $450 million to Israel’s Trans-Asiatic Oil Ltd. or TAO.

According to Haaretz, in 1989, the Swiss court initially ordered TAO to pay $500 million to Fimarco Anstalt, a company registered before the revolution in Lichtenstein by NIOC. Payment was deferred pending deliberations over interest claims. This month’s ruling was the culmination of that case, with TAO ordered to pay $1.1 billion in addition to $7 million in legal fees, IRNA quoted the source as saying.

Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court has reportedly allowed Iranian clients to file an arbitration claim for $7 billion against Israel.