1987 October 1988 April, US destroyed three offshore oil production complexes.
Iran argued such acts as violation of Treaty of Amity, 1955 and of IL.
Art XXI such treaty basis of jurisdiction.
1993, June 8 Iran Memorial
1993, June 13 US preliminary objection to jurisdiction
1993, 16 December court asserted its jurisdiction.
The court founded jurisdiction under art X, 1955 Treaty, which said ‘between the territories of the two high contracting parties there shall be freedom of commerce and navigation’, commerce is not merely act of purchase and sale, but also the ancillary activities integrally related to commerce … the 1955 Treaty does not speak of protecting commerce, but freedom of commerce, any act which would impede freedom is thereby prohibited.
1997, June 23 US Counter memorial / counter claim asking the court to declare:
1. Attacking the vessels, laying mines in the gulf and engaging in military actions in 1987-88 detrimental to commerce, Iran breached its obligation under Treaty of Amity and 2. it has to make full reparation
1997, November 18, Iran asked for hearing to the counterclaim. The present order was given w/o them.
Iran argued that US counter claim was not sufficiently specific for the court to be able to determine whether it is directly connected with the principal claim, it just stated unspecified Iranian interference with unspecified maritime trade between the US and Iran
Iran argued that state responding to counterclaim is in significant disadvantage since it is apparently confined to a single written pleading, the US claim in respect 1987-1988 covers a series of incidents with respect to which Iran has important additional claims of its own; besides, if the case were widened in the way proposed by the US it could prejudice 3rd states interests, since while in new cases the ICJ has to notify to 3rd states, in counter claim not.
US argued that counter claim must be connected to the subject matter of the claim, not to the claim itself. A counter claim need not be a mirror of the claim or rest upon precisely the same theory of facts, but it has to be sufficiently linked to the facts or circumstances given rise to the claim to enable the court to address both in a single proceeding. Facts and circumstances that caused the US to engage Iran’s platforms are the heart of the US defence to Iran’s claims, the same facts and circumstances are likewise the basis of the US counterclaim