Iran-United States Claims Tribunal
The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal is an international
arbitral tribunalestablished out of an agreement between Iranand the United States, under an understanding known as the Algiers Accordsof January 19 1981. The Algiers Accords were the outcome of negotiations between Iran and the United States, mediated by Algeria, to resolve a hostage crisis. In exchange for the release of the hostages by Iran, the United States agreed to unfreeze Iranian assets. The tribunal was established to resolve claims by United States nationals for compensation for assets nationalized by the Iranian government, and claims by the governments against each other; any national court proceedings were nullified by the declarations. This was necessary in part because a large part of the frozen Iranian funds had already been transferred by United States courts to United States nationals as compensation; the declarations resulted in the reversal of all these United States court decisions.
The seat of the Tribunal is
The Hague. It held its first meeting in the Peace Palaceon July 1 1981; in April 1982, it moved to its own premises in The Hague.
The Tribunal is composed of nine arbitrators: three appointed by Iran, three appointed by the United States, and a further three (neither Iranian nor United States nationals) appointed by the previous six arbitrators. The Tribunal hears individual cases in the formation of three-member chambers; it meets as a full tribunal to consider disputes between the two governments, and cases referred from the chambers.
The Tribunal closed to new claims by private individuals on
January 19 1982. In total, it received approximately 4,700 private US claims. The Tribunal has ordered payments by Iran to US nationals totaling over USD 2.5 billion. Almost all private claims have now been resolved; but several intergovernmental claims are still before the Tribunal.
* [http://www.iusct.org/ Official website]
* [http://www.state.gov/s/l/3199.htm US State Dept. page concerning the Tribunal]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.