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Program Overview

Number of Claims 3,066
Number of Awards 1,066
Amount of Awards - Principal $41,570,936
Amount of Fund $57,822,759
Amount of Payment $100% of Principal plus 34.96% of Interest


On May 13, 1990, the United States concluded an agreement with the Government of Iran providing for the lump-sum settlement of claims of U.S. nationals against Iran of under $250,000 per claim (“small claims”), which had been pending against Iran at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) in The Hague, Netherlands. Settlement Agreement in Claims of Less Than $250,000, Case No. 86 and Case No. B38 (the “Settlement Agreement”).  The claimants had filed these claims through the Department of State following the conclusion of the Algiers Accords by the United States and Iran on January 19, 1981.

To ensure that the Commission would be able to implement an agreement settling the small claims, Congress enacted legislation in 1985 giving the Commission standby jurisdiction to adjudicate the claims once an agreement was reached.  Pub. L. No. 99-93, 99 Stat. 437 (1985) (50 U.S.C. § 1701 note).  That jurisdiction became effective when the Settlement Agreement was approved by the Tribunal, which took place on June 22, 1990.  Iran - U.S. Claims Tribunal Award No. 483.

In addition to the unresolved small claims, the agreement covered a block of small claims that the claimants had withdrawn from the Tribunal, a second block that the Tribunal had dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, and a third block that had been filed with the Department of State too late to meet the Tribunal’s January 19, 1982 filing deadline.  Also included were certain claims of the United States based on loans from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to the Imperial Government of Iran.  Under the terms of the agreement, Iran transferred $105 million to the United States in en bloc settlement of all of these categories of claims.

On June 28, 1990, the Department of State formally transferred responsibility for the small claims to the Commission, as provided in the Settlement Agreement, and began transferring the files pertaining to the claims from the Tribunal to Washington, D.C.  In addition, the Department issued a formal determination dividing the settlement fund between the small claims and the USAID loan claims, allocating $50 million to the former and $55 million to the latter.

The Iran Claims Program was completed on February 24, 1995; by May 1995, the payment process had been substantially completed.


Pub. L. No. 99-93, 99 Stat. 437 (1985) (50 U.S.C. § 1701 note)


Settlement Agreement in Claims of Less Than $250,000, Case No. 86 and Case No. B38


Lead Decisions


Final Report on the Iran Claims Program

Updated August 26, 2014