The Iran -United States Claims Tribunal has been established in the Hague since
1981 to deal with settlement of thousands of legal and financial claims
submitted by Iran, the United States and nationals of the two  countries. The
tribunal also has to rule on disputes between the two countries concerning the
interpretation of the terms of the Algiers Declarations.
          The numerous financial and legal claims handled by the Iran-United
States Claims Tribunal in recent years are the direct result of the crisis that
arose between Iran and the United States in 1979 following the detention of 52
American nationals in the U.S. embassy in Teheran and the subsequent freezing
of Iranian assets by the United States.
            At the time , the government of Algeiria successfully acted as
intermediary between Iran and the United States and brokered the establishment
of the Tribunal. In January in 1981 the agreements between the two countries
were set out in two seperate declarations , the General Declaration and the
Claims Settlement Declaration.In these Declarations it was agreed that Iran
would release the hostages, while the United States promised to restore the
financial position of Iran, as far as possible, as it was prior to the date on
which the assets were frozen. The Tribunal rules on two types of claims: claims
submitted by nationals of one state against the other state ( or a state owned
company), and claims between two states.The claims of nationals relate to
debts, contractual obligations , expropriations and other measures affecting
property rights. These claims could have been submitted to the tribunal up to
January 19th 1982. The claims between the two states relate to contractual
agreements for the purchase and the sale of goods and services. The tribunal
also has to rule on disputes relating to the interpretation and performance of
the Algiers Declaration. There is no deadline for filing of claims or disputes
between the two countries.