Puneet Varma (Editor)

Anglo Iranian Oil Co. case

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Dates  26 May 1951 – 22 Jul 1952
Decided  26 May 1951
Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. case
Full case name  Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. (United Kingdom v. Iran)
Ruling court  International Court of Justice
Similar  Nottebohm case, Corfu Channel case, Case Concerning Barcelon, Minquiers and Ecrehos c, North Sea Continental Shelf cases

The United Kingdom v Iran [1952] ICJ 2 (also known as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. case) was a public international law dispute between the UK and Iran.

Contents

Facts

The UK alleged that the Iranian oil nationalization act of 1951 was counter to a convention agreed upon by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (now BP) and Iran in 1933. This granted the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company a 60-year license to mine oil in 260,000 square kilometres (100,000 sq mi) of Iran in return for a percentage royalty.

On 26 May 1951, the UK took Iran to the International Court of Justice, demanding that the 1933 agreement be upheld and that Iran pay damages and compensation for disrupting the UK-incorporated company's profits.

The ICJ quickly issued a temporary ruling, proposing to supervise the operations of the oil company by a board of 5 — two from each state and a fifth from a third — until the legal question had been resolved. The UK accepted, whereas Iran declined as a matter of principle, arguing that the ICJ had no jurisdiction over this case. The UK lodged a formal complaint to the Security Council, claiming that Iran jeopardized world peace by rejecting the temporary ruling out of hand, but the UK was unable to gain enough votes.

Judgment

On 22 July 1952, the ICJ decided that because Iran had conceded to ICJ jurisdiction only in cases involving treaties agreed upon after 1932 and as the only treaty cited by the UK after that date was between Iran and a foreign company (and not the UK itself), it had no jurisdiction in this matter (Iran's original contention). This was a main reason leading to the coup d'état in 1953.

References

Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. case Wikipedia


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