Attorney Appointed in Iran and Israel Oil Dispute
Saturday, February, 6, 2016
Attorney Alex Hertman will serve as Israel’s arbitrator in the lawsuit between Israel and Iran, in which Iran claims billions of dollars from the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company partnership. Hertman has previously criticized Iran and been involved in public battles against the country when he was president of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists. He will act on Israel’s behalf with the Islamic Republic.
Hertman’s criticism came in his annual newsletter in which he described his struggles against the “existential threat to Israel posed by Iran, a country whose leaders openly declare their desire to erase Israel from the map…” Hertman helped sue Iran on behalf of numerous terror victims and participated in the call to prosecute Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide.
Experts report the appointment of Hertman in this role could mean one of two things. Either the government wants to turn the process into a public relations campaign for Israel to criticize Iran and its leaders or Israel is afraid of losing the arbitration. Israel has lost two secondary arbitration procedures related to oil from Iran, but refused to pay the money it was ordered to pay because it considers Iran an enemy country and is forbidden by law to transfer money to an enemy combatant.
As per the 1968 partnership agreement between the Israel and the Iranian oil company, should a dispute arise, each side must appoint an arbitrator and the president of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris will appoint the third and deciding arbitrator. To date, Israel had refused to appoint an arbitrator, extending the process for 20 years. There is speculation the process will finally move forward toward a solution now that Herman is in the role.