A court in Iran has found against Coca-Cola and fined it over US$7m for pulling out of a joint venture in the country, according to the former Iranian partner.

Naser Davoudizadeh, director of Noushab soft drinks, said Coca-Cola, trading under the names Coca-Cola International, Coca-Cola Export and Canco Limited, pulled out of the joint venture after the US trade embargo was imposed.

Coke pulled out of the venture after only US$7.85m had paid into a US$15m investment with Noushab. The court fined Coca-Cola for the remaining US$7.15m, citing breach of contract.

It remains unclear what power the Tehran court has over Coca-Cola and whether it will actually have to pay the money. But Davoudizadeh has said he was willing to take the case to Washington itself.