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Iran - U.S. Claims Tribunal: A Policy Analysis of the Expropriation Cases

54 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2011  

Steven R. Swanson

Hamline University - School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 1986


The recent events surrounding the Iranian Revolution have provided numerous issues of interest to the international lawyer. The hostage crisis, the freezing of Iranian assets, and the aborted rescue mission have all received a great deal of attention. The seizure of the United States Embassy in Tehran on November 3, 1979, effectively destroyed the political and economic bonds that had developed between the two countries. Trade was cut off, contracts were breached, and the investments of United States citizens were expropriated. In response, the President of the United States ordered that all Iranian assets in the United States and within the jurisdictional reach of the United States be frozen. Private parties also took action to attach the assets of Iran in the United States. It became clear that any solution to the hostage problem would have to provide for the release of hostages, the thawing of frozen assets, and a remedy for parties allegedly injured in Iran. The solution was ultimately reached in the Algiers Accords on January 19, 1981. The Declaration of the Government of the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria Relating to the Commitments made by Iran and the U.S. includes provisions for arbitration and the Iran-United State Claims Tribunal. This article focuses on the importance of that tribunal's decisions relating to the taking of foreign investor's property. The article reviews the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal's takings decisions in light if international policy goals.

Keywords: Iran-United State Claims Tribunal, takings, foreign investment, expropriation

Suggested Citation

Swanson, Steven R., Iran - U.S. Claims Tribunal: A Policy Analysis of the Expropriation Cases (January 1, 1986). Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 18, p. 307, 1986. Available at SSRN:

Steven R. Swanson (Contact Author)

Hamline University - School of Law ( email )

1536 Hewitt Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104-1237
United States

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