In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Iran and International Law

  • Introduction
  • Textbooks
  • Reference Works
  • Academic Peer-Reviewed Journals
  • Databases and Useful Websites
  • International Law in Iranian Universities and Academic Institutions
  • Iran and the Law of Treaties
  • Iran and International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • Iran and the Law of the Sea
  • Iran and the United Nations Organization
  • Iran’s Nuclear Program and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
  • Iran-US Claims Tribunal
  • Iran and the International Court of Justice
  • US Unilateral Coercive Measures against Iran

International Law Iran and International Law
Pouria Askary
  • LAST REVIEWED: 26 May 2021
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 May 2021
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199796953-0218


Geographically situated in the juxtaposition of East and West, peace among nations is the zeal of Iranian people. As a founding member of both the League of Nations and the United Nations, Iran was seen as a great supporter of multilateralism. Iran voted in favor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and hosted the first UN Human Rights Conference in its capital in 1968. Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the crisis of the US diplomatic and consular staff in Tehran, the United States put in place embargoes against the newly elected Iranian government and instituted proceedings against Iran before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Iran did not participate in the proceedings to defend itself and the court ruled that Iran has violated its international obligations. Since then, Iran has faced many challenges in its international relations especially with the Western powers. For example, neither Iraq’s aggression against Iran nor the use of chemical weapons against Iranian civilians was recognized by the UN Security Council; different types of unilateral, regional, and international sanctions have been imposed on Iran; and the human rights situation in Iran has been repeatedly criticized by individual Western states and the UN mechanisms. Furthermore, Iran’s nuclear program was considered by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, while the US officials have emphasized that military options against Iran remain “on the table.” Iranian academics and international lawyers have extensively discussed the last four decades of Iran’s presence on the international plane as a thought-provoking issue in the fields of international responsibility, diplomatic and consular law, state immunity, arbitration, judicial adjudication, human rights, humanitarian law, use of force, law of the sea, fight against terrorism, and nonproliferation, just to name a few. This long list, however, has created its own negative impact internally: doubts about the effectiveness and efficacy of relevant rules of international law which found more basis after the United States announced its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed some further tough sanctions against Iran. Seeking to use international law as a tool to protect its national interests, the Iranian government has brought this case to the ICJ and is still making efforts to preserve the nuclear deal. This contribution introduces the different Iranian resources and institutions in the field and also deals with some of the above-mentioned topics as the most important subjects for Iran in the context of international law.


There are many textbooks of public international law available in Persian. Ziaei Bigdeli 2019 is the most famous one. Vakil 2019 and Mousazadeh 2018 include newer topics. Zamani 2016 and Beigzadeh 2018 are the main textbooks on the law of international organizations. Mir Abbasi and Sadat Meidani 2017 is a source of study on the law and practice of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Ziaei Bigdeli 2017 is a comprehensive textbook on international humanitarian law. Sadr 2019 on diplomatic and consular law and Habibi Mojandeh 2016 on international economic law are also considerable. It is worth mentioning that Persian translations of the most important textbooks of international law are also available in Iran’s book market.

  • Beigzadeh, Ibrahim. Hoghoughe sazmanhaye beynalmelali. Tehran: Majd, 2018.

    Professor Beigzadeh’s law of international organizations is a great textbook with full details. The book first covers the general subjects and then provides detailed information on the work of the United Nations, its specialized agencies as well as regional organizations.

  • Habibi Mojandeh, Mohammad. Hoghoughe beynalmelale eghtesadi. Tehran: Jangal, 2016.

    This beneficial book contains many topics linked to international economic law. The book encompasses informative chapters on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and also covers international law of investment.

  • Mir Abbasi, Seyed Bagher, and Seyed Hossein Sadat Meidani. Dadresihaye beynalmelalie divane beynalmelalye dadgostari dar teory va amal. 3 vols. Tehran: Jangal, 2017.

    The authors in the first volume of this book on theory and practice of the ICJ have discussed the importance of peaceful settlement of international disputes. The authors dedicated the next chapters of the book to introduction of the existing mechanisms including the ICJ. The second volume covers some of the most important cases before the court and the third volume provides detailed information concerning technical procedures of international adjudication with emphasis on the ICJ.

  • Mousazadeh, Reza. Bayestehaye hoghoughe beynalmelale omoumi. Tehran: Mizan, 2018.

    The author of this textbook has discussed all issues of international law. The arguments of the book are usually supported with reference to international case law.

  • Sadr, Javad. Hoghoughe diplomatic va consouli. Tehran: Tehran University, 2019.

    A classic book written by Sadr on diplomatic and consular law. The book covers the main themes in a comprehensive way.

  • Vakil, Amirsaed. Hoghoughe beynalmelale omoumi. Tehran: Majd, 2019.

    Vakil’s work on public international law is a combination of classic concepts of international law and practical current international legal issues that reflect emerging horizons of the international community. The author concentrates on several learning methods to simplify relatively complicated discussions for law students.

  • Zamani, Seyed Ghasem. Hoghoughe sazmanhaye beynalmelali. 2 vols. Tehran: Shahre Danesh, 2016.

    The author of this two-volume textbook on the law of international organizations has gathered all the necessary information for students. The first volume’s main subjects include the international legal personality, powers, jurisdictions, and immunity of international organizations. The second volume is mostly focused on responsibility.

  • Ziaei Bigdeli, Mohammadreza. Hoghoughe beynalmelale bashardoustaneh. Tehran: Ganjeh Danesh, 2017.

    The textbook on international humanitarian law (IHL) by Professor Ziaei Bigdeli is a great door-opener for students. The book covers all issues in IHL and includes separate chapters on naval and air warfare. Some contemporary challenges such as IHL and terrorism are also covered in the book.

  • Ziaei Bigdeli, Mohammadreza. Hoghoughe beynalmelale omoumi. Tehran: Ganjeh Danesh, 2019.

    Ziaei Bigdeli’s textbook public international law has been reprintedmore than sixty times. The book which is the most well-known textbook in the Persian language covers all the issues of international law. In each new edition the author improved the quality of the work.

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