This Country Answer reflects the state of the law as of 31 December 2012. Please refer to the explanations in the chapter entitled Preliminary Note.

A. The Contracting State and the New York Convention

1. Name of Contracting State (also specify jurisdiction(s), if relevant)

Islamic Republic of Iran.

2. Date of entry into force of the New York Convention

13 January 2002.

(Source: 'Single Article Law on Accession of Islamic Republic of Iran to New York Convention for Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards dated 10 June 1958', published in the Official Gazette of Iran No. 16374 (29.02.1380) 19 May 2001 (hereinafter 'Single Article Law on Accession'), whereby the Iranian Parliament authorized the Government of Iran to accede to the New York Convention.)

3. Has any reservation been made under Art. I(3) of the New York Convention regarding:

(a) reciprocity?

Yes.

(b) commercial relationships?

Yes.

Note: Iran has made what is a kind of additional reservation under Art. 139 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding public and State property.

(Source: Single Article Law on Accession, endnote.)

4. In addition to arbitral awards made in the territory of another State, the New York Convention (Art. I(1)) also applies to arbitral awards not considered as domestic awards in the State where recognition and enforcement are sought. Are there any awards rendered in your country that are not considered as domestic awards such that the New York Convention and the answers to this Questionnaire are applicable to them?

No.

B. National sources of law

5. What specific sources of law are applicable to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. statutes, regulations, codes, directives, other legal instruments)?

(i) Single Article Law on Accession, incorporating and enacting the New York Convention;

(ii) International Commercial Arbitration Law, Official Gazette No. 15335, 19 Oct. 1997;

(iii) Civil Procedure Law, Official Gazette No. 16070, 1 May 2000;

(iv) Law on the Enforcement of Civil Judgments, 23 Oct. 1977;

(v) Criminal Procedure Law, Official Gazette No. 15911, 10 Oct. 1999.

According to the Iranian Civil Code, accession to the New York Convention means that its provisions have become part of Iran's statute law.

(Source: Civil Code, Art. 9: 'Treaties which have been concluded between the Iranian Government and other governments in accordance with the Constitutional Law shall have the force of law.')

C. Limitation periods (time limits)

6.

(a) Is there a limitation period (time limit) applicable to the commencement of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

No.

(b) If yes, what is the applicable limitation period (time limit) and when does it start running?

N/A.

D. National courts and court proceedings

7. What authority or court has jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

(i) If the claim on which the award rules concerns immovable property in Iran, the court in whose jurisdiction that immovable property is located; otherwise: (ii) the court in whose jurisdiction the respondent's domicile is situated; (iii) if the respondent has no domicile in Iran, the court in whose jurisdiction the respondent has a temporary residence; (iv) if the respondent has no such temporary residence in Iran, the court in whose jurisdiction the respondent has immovable property; (v) if there is no such immovable property, the court in whose jurisdiction the applicant's domicile is situated.

(Source: Civil Procedure Law of 2000, Arts. 11 and 488.)

8. What requirements, if any, must be met for the authority or court to accept jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. domicile or assets of the respondent in the jurisdiction, etc.)?

The applicant must have a legal interest in seeking enforcement of the award.

(Source: Civil Procedure Law of 2000, Art. 2.)

9. Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement obtained through ex parte or inter partes proceedings?

The writ of execution is granted through ex parte proceedings, with no hearing required.

(Source: Civil Procedure Law of 2000, Art. 488.)

10.

(a) Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement subject to any form of appeal or recourse?

No. The court's decision granting recognition and enforcement is in practice normally made in the form of a writ of execution and as such is not subject to any form of recourse or appeal. If there is an error in the issuance of a writ of execution, the court that issued the writ can revoke or rectify it.

(Source: Law on the Enforcement of Civil Judgments, Art. 11.)

If a court opts to make its decision (especially denying recognition and enforcement) in the form of an order or a judgment, such order or judgment will be subject to appeal in accordance with the general rules for appeals.

(b) How many levels of appeal or recourse are available against this decision?

The law is not clear; only the 'judgments' and certain 'orders' of the courts may be appealed to the revision/appeal court. Under the general principles of procedural law, a party may appeal to the court of revision (appeal court) of the relevant province if the court decision granting or denying enforcement is issued in the form of a judgment or an order. The appeal court's decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

(Source: Civil Procedure Law of 2000.)

11. What is the earliest stage in legal proceedings for enforcement of foreign arbitral awards at which a party can obtain execution against assets (i.e. party actually obtains possession of assets as opposed to simply freezing assets)?

Attachment/freezing of the respondent's assets is possible from the date of notification of the writ of execution.

(Source: Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgments, Note to Art. 35.)

Execution against assets may be obtained after the expiry of 10 days from the date on which the respondent was officially notified of the writ of execution.

(Source: Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgments, Arts. 34 and 41.)

E. Evidence required

12.

(a) What evidence must be supplied for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. arbitral award, contract containing arbitration clause, affidavits, witness statements, etc.)?

(i) duly authenticated original award or a duly certified copy thereof; (ii) original arbitration agreement or a duly certified copy thereof.

(Source: New York Convention, Art. IV.)

(b) Is it necessary to provide the entire document or only certain parts (e.g. entire contract or only arbitration clause)?

It is not clear due to lack of precedent. The main applicable regulation is Art. IV of the New York Convention, which has been adopted into Iranian domestic law.

(c) Are originals or duly certified copies required?

The applicant can file either original or duly certified copies of the documents.

(Source: Civil Procedure Law, Art. 57.)

(d) How many originals or duly certified copies are required?

Generally, two copies are sufficient, but if there is more than one respondent the applicant must file an additional copy for each additional respondent.

(Source: Civil Procedure Law, Art. 60.)

(e) Does the authority or court keep the originals that are filed?

Yes.

13.

(a) Is it necessary to provide a translation of the documents supplied?

Yes.

(b) If yes, into what language?

Persian (Farsi), Iran's official language.

(Source: Constitution of Iran, Rule 15.)

(c) Is it necessary for the translations to be certified and, if yes, by whom (official or sworn translator, diplomatic or consular agent (of which country?) or some other person)?

Yes, it is necessary to provide a Persian translation of each document, certified by an official translator or by a diplomatic or consular agent of Iran.

(Source: Civil Procedure Law, Art. 58.)

(d) Is it necessary to provide a full translation of the documents or only a translation of certain parts (e.g. entire award or only part setting forth the decisions; entire contract or only arbitration clause)?

It is not clear, as there are no express statutory provisions and no precedents. Usually, the entire document must be translated.

F. Stay of enforcement

14.

(a) Can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement pending the outcome of an application to set aside or suspend the foreign award before the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

Yes.

(Source: New York Convention, Art. VI.)

(b) On what other grounds, if any, can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement (e.g. forum non conveniens)?

None. The concept of forum non conveniens is not known in the Iranian legal system.

(c) Is the granting of a stay of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement conditional on the provision of security?

The court can, at its discretion and also if the applicant so requests, grant a stay of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement conditional on the provision of appropriate security.

(Source: New York Convention, Art. VI.)

G. Confidentiality

15.

(a) Do the documents filed in legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement form part of the public record? If yes, can any steps be taken to preserve the confidentiality of such documents?

The general rule is that civil proceedings are public unless the parties agree otherwise.

(Sources: Civil Procedure Law; Constitution of Iran, Rule 165.)

If the case involves an issue of national security or confidential government information, then the court may decide that the documents filed be kept confidential. In practice, the documents filed in all legal proceedings are confidential.

(Source: Criminal Procedure Law, Art. 188.)

(b) If there are hearings on recognition and enforcement, are such hearings confidential? If not, can steps be taken to maintain the confidentiality of the legal proceedings?

As a general rule, all hearings are public unless the parties request otherwise. There is usually no hearing for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, unless the court needs some explanation from the parties.

(Source: Constitution of Iran, Rule 165.)

(c) Are judgments on recognition and enforcement published? If yes, can steps be taken to remove the names of the parties or avoid publication of confidential information (such as business or State secrets)?

There are no statutory provisions requiring or preventing the publication of judgments or court decisions, including those on the enforcement of foreign awards. In the event of publication, the practice is to omit names and other particulars of the parties.

H. Other issues

16. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of interim or partial foreign awards?

There are no specific regulations on the recognition and enforcement of interim or partial foreign awards. Insofar as the arbitral decision can be qualified as an award, it is subject to the general rules of enforcement.

17. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of non-monetary relief in foreign arbitral awards (e.g. order requiring a party to deliver up share certificates or other property)?

The law is considered to be the same for the enforcement of non-monetary as for monetary foreign awards.

18. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of only part of the relief granted in foreign awards?

An applicant is considered to be free to request the recognition and enforcement of only part of the relief granted in a foreign award. The court is not prohibited from enforcing part of an award if the applicant so requests.

19. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which have been set aside by the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

There is no basis for recognizing and enforcing foreign awards that have been set aside by the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention.

(Source: New York Convention, Art. V(1).)

20. Are there any other procedural or practical requirements relating to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which are worth mentioning (e.g. unusually high court costs, filing fees, stamp duties, obligation to post security as a condition for seeking recognition and enforcement, obligation to identify the assets that will be the object of enforcement, etc.)?

The law is not clear in this respect, but it is the practice of some courts to require stamp duties amounting to IRR 500,000 (approx. 30 euros at the current exchange rate) for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.

(Source: Law on the Collection of Government Income, dated 1373 (1994), Art. 3(22).)

Country Rapporteur:

Mohsen Mohebi