For Stanwick Corp., the denoument of the hostage crisis means months -- even years -- of untangling the financial complications born of events in Iran.
The Arlington management and engineering firm, which provided services to the Iranian Navy and Air Force before the revolution, suffered a substantial loss of business in Iran after the revolution, part of which now may be recouped under the arrangements for settling claims negotiated between the U.S. and Iranian governments.
Stanwick had filed a $7 million suit for damages and injunctive relief against Iran, several Iranian defense agencies and Riggs National Bank in an effort to recover deposits in Iranian banks and payments owed to the company under government contracts. That claim apparently now will be handled by the arbitration tribunal established as part of the agreement to free the hostages.
Stanwick was forced to write off some $3.3 million, including $2.4 million claimed in payments owed under its contracts with Iran and $900,000 in deposits in Iranian banks that were unrecoverable. Because of the write-off, Stanwick took a net loss for the fiscal year ended April 30, 1980. Having written off the loss and taken the tax advantages related to it, the firm now faces the problem of how to handle a reverse.
So far, corporate officials have not yet gotten together with the Stanwick's lawyers to determine where the firm stands in terms of the arbitration commission established to handle legal claims against Iran or the possible consequences of getting back the money Stanwick lost.
"Intentionally, we've tried not to get into that because of the volatility of the situation," said Stanwick's vice president and treasurer, Godon Hamlet. Hamlet said he expects that such a meeting would occur toward the end of the week.
Some companies will find their situation complicated by language in the agreement that excludes certain types of claims from the jurisdiction of the arbitration commission. Contracts that called for sending contractual disputes to the Iranaian courts were specifically excluded from arbitration by the international tribunal.
Stanwick's contracts, however, called for international arbitration and should not be affected, Hamlet said.
"It would be nice" to recover, said Hamlet.