David Suratgar holds a Master's Degree in Jurisprudence from Oxford University and is completing a dissertation for a Doctorate in International and Comparative Law at Columbia University. He is currently employed in the Legal Department of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Mr. Suratgar asks the reader to note that "the views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development."
Public opinion and government policies differ from one country to another on the desirability of encouraging recourse to arbitration at the expense of the jurisdiction of local courts. Until such time, therefore, as there is a truly international system of conunercial arbitration with generally accepted arbitral clauses and awards, businessmen and their counsel will of necessity be concerned with the treatment of arbitration and problems of enforcement.
Unfortunately little is known in the United States of the Iranian law of arbitration. There are few sources of information on the subject which are not in the Persian language. This is surprising when it is recalled that the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company involved questions concerning arbitration provisions in concession agreements, and that the later Iranian oil agreements have contained arbitration provisions of international significance. Perhaps it is this recent awakening of interest in arbitration as a necessary element in private business operations and investment projects in developing nations which best justifies a general knowledge of the local laws on the subject.