An Israeli oil company has been ordered by a Swiss court to pay $1.1 billion to Iran in compensation in a long-standing legal battle related to a joint venture before the Islamic Revolution, the IRNA news agency says.
Citing an “informed source” at Iran’s Presidential Center for Legal Affairs, IRNA said the ruling relates to the Israeli company’s sale of Iranian oil and withholding the money.
Iran has been conducting three arbitration suits against Israel at French and Swiss courts in a legal tussle estimated worth several billion dollars.
The case relates to a joint venture established in 1968 under the defunct shah of Iran to ship the country’s oil to the Israeli port of Eilat in the Mediterranean for export to Europe.
Iran cancelled the contract after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 because the country doesn’t recognize Israel.
Tel Aviv, instead, expropriated Iran’s assets and launched its own litigation offensive against the Islamic Republic, which has been dismissed at international courts.
According to IRNA, the latest ruling pertains to a case related to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)’s delivery of 14.75 million cubic meters of crude oil worth $450 million to Israel’s Trans-Asiatic Oil Ltd. or TAO.
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.
The court put off proceedings for interest claims then, issuing a final ruling only this month, which ordered TAO to pay $1.1 billion in addition to $7 million in legal fees, IRNA quoted the source as saying.
The source said Iran has also launched a case against TAO in Panama’s courts for implementation of the ruling and original claims against the Israeli firm.
Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court has reportedly allowed Iranian clients to file an arbitration claim for $7 billion against Israel.
The original claim is related to Iran’s shares in the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co. (EAPC), as well as two oil ports and storage facilities, and a fleet of tankers which have been expropriated by Israel.
The Tel Aviv regime has issued a secrecy order under which any information about the company’s operations and news of arbitration is subject to military censorship.
The EAPC, part of TAO, is one of the most secretive companies in Israel, operating under a special legal force since 1968.
The company enjoys immunity from public control and regime supervision including its comptroller as well as the Knesset and the media.
The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co. was built in the aftermath of the Sinai operation of 1956 against Arab armies.
During the months that Israel controlled Sinai, Israel stole pumps and pipes from an Italian and Belgian firms operating oil fields in the peninsula and built the pipeline from Eilat.
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