Iran loses court battle over Crescent deal with UAE, fined $18 bln


Baku, Azerbaijan, June 2

By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

Iran has been fined $18 billion over the disputed Crescent deal with the United Arab Emirates.

Iranian industry minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said the International court of Justice has ordered the country to pay $18 billion to the UAE, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on June 2.

"Not only the country gained anything from selling gas to the UAE, but it was also fined $18 billion, he noted.

The Crescent contract was signed in 2011. Based on the contract, Iran was supposed to export unrefined natural gas from Salman gas field to the United Arab Emirates for 25 years. But objections from inside the country led to the cancellation of the contract. Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was Iran's oil minister back then.

In December 2013, the Pana News Agency quoted Iranian MP Alireza Zakani as saying that Iran may have to pay an $8-35 billion fine to the UAE over the Crescent deal if court rules against Iran.

During the presidency of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian officials repeatedly called the contract shameful. According to them, the price agreed on in the contract was 14 times below the market price.

Based on the contract, Iran was supposed to export 195 million cubic feet of gas to the United Arab Emirates in the first phase. The figure could be raised to 700 million cubic feet in the next phases.

The Fars News Agency reported in June 2013 that the agreed price for 1,000 cubic meters of gas was $17.5 in the contract.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on November 30 he was pursuing Crescent case and will send the necessary documents to the court investigating the issue.

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