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Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America)

Overview of the case

By an Application dated 17 May 1989, the Islamic Republic of Iran instituted proceedings before the Court against the United States of America, further to the destruction in the air by the USS Vincennes, a guided-missile cruiser of the United States armed forces operating in the Persian Gulf, of an Iran Air Airbus A-300B, causing the deaths of its 290 passengers and crew. According to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United States, by its destruction of that aircraft occasioning fatal casualties, by refusing to compensate Iran for the damage caused and by its continuous interference in aviation in the Persian Gulf, had violated certain provisions of the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and of the 1971 Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation. The Islamic Republic of Iran likewise asserted that the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had erred in a decision of 17 March 1989 concerning the incident. Within the time-limit fixed for the filing of its Counter-Memorial, the United States of America raised preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the Court.

Subsequently, by a letter dated 8 August 1994, the Agents of the two Parties jointly informed the Court that their Governments had “entered into negotiations that may lead to a full and final settlement of [the] case” and requested the Court “[to postpone] sine die the opening of the oral proceedings” on the preliminary objections, for which it had fixed the date of 12 September 1994. By a letter dated 22 February 1996 and filed in the Registry on the same day, the Agents of the two Parties jointly notified the Court that their Governments had agreed to discontinue the case because they had entered into “an agreement in full and final settlement”. Accordingly, the President of the Court, also on 22 February 1996, made an Order recording the discontinuance of the proceedings and directing the removal of the case from the Court’s List.


This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.

Institution of proceedings

Written proceedings

Preliminary Objections submitted by the United States of America

4 March 1991
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
English

Other documents

Settlement Agreement

9 February 1996
Available in:
English

Orders

Order of 12 June 1990

Extension of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 9 April 1991

Fixing of time-limit: Written Statement
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 18 December 1991

Extension of time-limit: Written Statement
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 5 June 1992

Extension of time-limit: Written Statement
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 22 February 1996

Removal from list
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections | Discontinuance
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Press releases

Press release 1990/10

15 June 1990
Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) - Extension of time-limits for the filing of the initial written pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 1990/13

24 July 1990
Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) - Filing of Iran's Memorial
Available in:
English French

Press release 1991/7

5 March 1991
Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) - Filing of preliminary objections by the United States of America
Available in:
English French

Press release 1991/10

5 April 1991
Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) - The following information is communicated to the Press by the Registry of the International Court of Justice
Available in:
English French

Press release 1991/11

11 April 1991
Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) - Fixing of the time-limit for the filing, by Iran, of its observations and submissions on the preliminary objections raised by the United States of America - Solemn declaration of Judge ad hoc Mohsen Aghahosseini
Available in:
English French

Press release 1991/35

18 December 1991
Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) - Extension of time-limit
Available in:
English French

Press release 1992/12

17 June 1992
Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) - Extension of time-limit
Available in:
English French

Press release 1994/8

14 March 1994
Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) - Hearings to open on 12 September 1994
Available in:
English French

Press release 1994/18

11 August 1994
Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) - Postponement of the hearings
Available in:
English French

Press release 1996/6

23 February 1996
Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) - Discontinuance
Available in:
English French

Correspondence

Correspondence

26 September 1989
Correspondence
Available in:
English