A statement from the Israeli finance ministry has vowed not to pay money owed to Iran as long as it remains its enemy. A Swiss court order stated that Israel should pay $1.1billion to Iran as part of its shares to a jointly owned oil pipeline that was expropriated and nationalized after the Iranian revolution which marked the beginning of enmity between the two states.
Trans-Asiatic Oil Ltd. (TAO), an Israeli company registered in Panama, and the National Iranian Oil Co. created a joint venture called Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Co. (EAPC) in 1968 to supply Europe with Iranian oil. The Iranian company provided 14.75 million cubic meters of crude oil through the EAPC, earning $450 million for TAO. However, since the ties between the two countries turned sour, EAPC became the unique operator of more than 450 miles of the EAPC pipelines in Israel.
The court order wants Iran to be paid $1.1billion as its share of the deal before the 1979 revolution by the Israeli company and $7 million to cover legal fees but the Israeli Finance Ministry stressed that it will be contradictory to the laws of the Jewish state. “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 statement from the ministry read.
According to Iranian based Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the court order only involves the buying and selling of Iranian oil through an Israeli port and doesn’t include all the Iranian assets that were nationalized by Israel.
Israel and Iran used to be allies against the Sunni Muslim states in the region but the Iranian revolution brought an end to it.