Last week a Swiss court ruled that Israel owes Iran $100 million dollars.
Because Iran and Israel owned a joint pipeline inside Israel, which was set up during the Shah. Then the revolution happened and Iran’s new rulers severed ties with Israel. This decision left Iranian oil in the possession of Israel and now Swiss arbitrators have decided that Israel should pay for them.
according to the terms of the contract which was drawn up in 1968:
The joint-venture agreement states that in the event of a dispute, the arbitration would be conducted in Tehran by a two-person panel consisting of an Iranian High Court judge and an Israeli counterpart. If the two failed to reach a decision, the International Chamber of Commerce would pick a third arbitrator to settle the matter.
Iran refuses flat out to negotiate directly with Israel to resolve this dispute, as the contract demands. Israel tried to do this before. According to Alice Speri of VICE news:
In the mid 1980s, when Iran first started its attempt to recoup the money, then minister of energy Moshe Shahal agreed that Israel should pay its debt, and suggested sending a representative to Iran — an unheard-of proposal.
Had Iran agreed to direct negotiations and then should such negotiations have failed to produce a result, then both sides according to the contract could move to the arbitration stage.
But as Alice Speri points out, Iranian authorities skipped the first part, and moved straight to the arbitration part of the contract.
Also, breaking a contract because a new government decides that the other party to the contract should not exist also carries some penalties and compensations.
But a deal is a deal. Both sides deserve to be compensated.
And the best way? direct negotiations between them.