Swiss court orders Israel to pay Iran $1.1 billion in oil pipeline dispute

An Israeli oil company, the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company, has been ordered to pay $1.1 billion in compensation to Iran by a Swiss court, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday. In response, Israel clarified that it will not pay the debt to the Iranians. « Without referring to the matter at hand, we’ll note that according to the Trading with the Enemy Act it is forbidden to transfer money to the enemy, including the Iranian national oil company, » the Finance Ministry statement said. 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. IRNA cited an « informed source » at Iran’s Presidential Center for Legal Affairs for its information about the court’s ruling. The joint venture between the two countries, which began under the Shah of Iran in 1968, was a project for selling Iranian oil to Europe via Israel. The oil was shipped from Iran to Eilat and then transported to the Mediterranean seaport of Ashkelon via the newly constructed Trans-Israel Pipeline. The jointly-owned pipeline was effectively nationalized by Israel after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, after which Iran turned from being Israel