Document Type : Article


1 Professor, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran

2 PhD Candidate -International Law-, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran


Most-Favoured-Nation –MFN– Clause has been always regarded as one of the cornerstones of international investment treaties safeguarding foreign investors from being discriminated in comparison to their other nationals rivals. Traditionally, MFN Clause has been used to avoid discrimination in substantive rights. After Maffezini Case Award, enforcing MFN clause to procedural rights specially to dispute settlement clauses has moved this standard to an advance level of practice in international investment law. In many cases, investors succeeded to prove jurisdiction in arbitrations in which defendant state has never consented, also to leap-frog prerequisites needed to be fulfilled before referring the case to an international arbitration. Regarding the fact that MFN Clause, without any exemption, is enshrined through all Iranian bilateral investment treaties without any explicit limitation about application of the mentioned clause to dispute settlement provisions, the subject is critically of highest importance from the perspective of national interests and also the State policy about foreign investments. Present article, after giving a summary of the latest updates about the issue and also reviewing relevant jurisprudence, intends to scrutinize possibility of Iranian BITs MFN Clauses being cited about dispute settlement provisions, and to provide solutions for covering relevant risks.


1. فارسی
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2. انگلیسی
A) Books
3. Campbell, MacLachlan; Laurence, Shore & Matthew, Weiniger (2008), International Investment Arbitration: Substantive Principles, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
B) Cases
4. Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Renta 4 S.V.S.A v. The Russian Federation , Award on Preliminary Objections, No. 24/2007 (20 March 2009).
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6. Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Vladimir Berschader and Moïse Berschader v. The Russian Federation , (21 April 2006).
7. ICJ, Dispute regarding Navigational and Related Rights (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009.
8. ICJ, Legal consequences for States of the continued presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, 1971.
9. ICSID, Daimler Financial Services AG v. Argentine Republic, Award, 22 August 2012.
10. ICSID, Emilio Agustín Maffezini v. the Kingdom of Spain, Decision of the Tribunal on Objections to Jurisdiction, (25 January 2000).
11. ICSID, Hochtief AG v. Argentine Republic, Decision on Jurisdiction, (7 October 2011).
12. ICSID, Hochtief AG v. The Argentine Republic, Dissenting Opinion of arbitrator Christopher Thomas, Decision on Jurisdiction, (24 October 2011).
13. ICSID, Kılıç İnşaat İthalat İhracat Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Şirketi v. Turkmenistan , Decision on Article VII.2 of the Turkey-Turkmenistan Bilateral Investment Treaty, Case No. ARB/10/1, 2 July 2013, para.6.3.4. .
14. ICSID, Plama Consortium Limited v. Republic of Bulgaria, Decision on Jurisdiction, (8 February 2005).
15. ICSID, Salini Costruttori S.p.A. v. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Decision of the Tribunal on Jurisdiction (Nov. 9.2004).
16. ICSID, Señor Tza Yap Shum v. The Republic of Peru, Decision on Jurisdiction and Competence (Spanish), (19 June 2009).
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20. ICSID, Telenor Mobile Communications A.S. v. Hungary, (13 September 2006).
21. ICSID, Wintershall Aktiengesellschaft v. Argentine Republic, Award, (8 December 2008).
22. UNCITRAL, Austrian Airlines v. The Slovak Republic, final award, (9 October 2009).
23. UNCITRAL, Austrian Airlines v. The Slovak Republic, Separate Opinion of Charles N. Brower, (9 October 2009).
24. UNCITRAL, AWG Group Ltd. v. The Argentine Republic, Decision on Jurisdiction, (3 August 2006).
25. UNCITRAL, CME Czech Republic B.V. v. The Czech Republic, Separate Opinion on the Issues at the Quantum phases by Ian Brownlie, (14 March 2003).
26. UNCITRAL, HICEE B.V. v. The Slovak Republic, Partial Award, (23 May 2011).
27. UNCITRAL, ICS Inspection and Control Services Limited (United Kingdom) v. Republic of Argentina, Award on Jurisdiction, PCA Case No. 2010 -9 (10 February 2012).
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C) Documents
29. Argentine-Spain BIT (28 September 1992).
30. Central American Free Trade Agreement Draft (CAFTA-DR) (28 January 2004).
31. Germany-Afghanistan BIT, (8 February 2007).
32. ILC Final Report, sixty-seventh Session, Study Group on the Most-Favoured-Nation clause, 2015.
33. ILC Yearbook, Report of the Comission to the General Assembly on the Work of its Thirtieth Session, 1978, vol.II, part two, available
34. ILC, Draft Articles on Most-Favoured-Nation Clauses, 1978.
35. Japan-United Mexican States BIT (17 September 2004) .
36. North American Free Trade Agreement –Nafta–, (1st January 1994).
37. UN General Assembly, Resolution on the Report of the Sixth Committee (A/63/439), (11 December 2008).
38. United Kingdom BIT Model Text Draft.