Iranian Policy in Iraq and Syria: Islamic State Crisis

Iranian Policy in Iraq and Syria: Islamic State Crisis

Iranian Policy in Iraq and Syria: Islamic State Crisis

[32] Iran's policy has been to support the Shiite-led governments in Iraq and Syria—a policy that has been challenged by the Islamic State organization, a Sunni radical Islamist movement that holds territory in both of those countries.

Note: Based on the Iran's Foreign Policy Report.

Iranian Policy in Iraq and Syria: Islamic State Crisis Contents

Iranian Policy in Iraq and Syria: Islamic State Crisis , in relation to the country's international relations, covers the following topics in this Iranian legal encyclopedia: Iran's Foreign Policy in relation to Iraq

  • Iran's Foreign Policy in relation to Iraq: Sadrist Militias
  • Iran's Foreign Policy in relation to Iraq: Other Mahdi Army Offshoots: Kata'ib Hezbollah and Asa'ib Ahl Al Haq
  • Iran's Foreign Policy in relation to the Badr Organization
  • Iran's Foreign Policy in relation to the Badr Organization: Iran-Backed Militias Formed after the U.S. Withdrawal
  • Iran's Foreign Policy in relation to Syria
  • Resources

    Notes and References

    1. 32 For information, see CRS Report R43612, The Islamic State and U.S. Policy, by Christopher M. Blanchard and Carla E. Humud.

    Iraq: Other Mahdi Army Offshoots: Kata'ib Hezbollah And Asa'ib Ahl al Haq

    Iraq: Other Mahdi Army Offshoots: Kata’ib Hezbollah and Asa’ib Ahl Al Haq in Iran

    Iraq: Other Mahdi Army Offshoots: Kata’ib Hezbollah and Asa’ib Ahl Al Haq

    Some Shiite militias are breakaways from the Mahdi Army that fell directly under the sway of Iran its Islamic Revolutionary Guard-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its commander, Major General Qasem Soleimani. These militias include Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH, League of the Family of the Righteous), Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Battalions), and the Promised Day Brigade, the latter organization of which might still be affiliated to some degree with Sadr [40]. In June 2009, Kata’ib Hezbollah was designated by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). In July 2009, the Treasury Department designated Kata’ib Hezbollah and its commander, Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, as threats to Iraqi stability under Executive Order 13438.

    Muhandis was a Da’wa party operative during Saddam’s rule, and was convicted in absentia by Kuwaiti courts for the Da’wa attempt on the life of then Amir Jabir Al Ahmad Al Sabah in May 1985, and for the 1983 Da’wa bombings of the United States and French embassies in Kuwait City. After these attacks, he served as leader of the Badr Corps (Badr Organization, see below) of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), but he broke with SCIRI after the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003 because SCIRI did not oppose the United States military presence in Iraq. He associated with the Mahdi Army during 2003-2006 but then broke away to form Kata’ib Hezbollah. KAH has an estimated 20,000 fighters [41].

    Development of the Country’s International Relations in relation to this Subject

    AAH’s leader, Qais al-Khazali, headed the Mahdi Army “Special Groups” breakaway faction during 2006-2007, until his capture and incarceration by United States forces for his alleged role in a 2005 raid that killed five American soldiers. During his imprisonment, his followers formed AAH. After his release in 2010, Khazali took refuge in Iran, returning in 2011 to take resume command of AAH while also converting it into a political movement and social service network. AAH did not compete in April 2013 provincial elections, but allied with Maliki in the 2014 elections (Al Sadiqun, “the Friends,” slate 218) [42]. AAH resumed its military activities after the 2014 Islamic State offensive that captured Mosul. It has an estimated 15,000 fighters.

    Note: Based on the Iran’s Foreign Policy Report.

    Resources

    Notes and References

    1. 40 U.S. Department of State. Bureau of Counterterrorism. Country Reports on Terrorism 2014. Released June 19, 2015.

      41 http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/02/iraq-popular-demobilisation-160224050939178.html.

      42 Liz Sly. “Iran-Tied Group Is On Rise in Iraq.” Washington Post, February 19, 2013.

    Tajikistan

    Tajikistan in Iran

    Tajikistan

    Iran and Tajikistan share a common Persian language, as well as literary and cultural ties. Despite the similar ethnicity, the two do not share a border and the population of Tajikistan is mostly Sunni. In March 2013, President Imamali Rakhmonov warned that since Tajikistan had become independent, the country and the world have experienced increased dangers from “arms races, international terrorism, political extremism, fundamentalism, separatism, drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, [and] the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” These are threats that Iranian leaders claim to share. Rakhmonov also stated that close ties with neighboring and regional states were a priority, to be based on “friendship, good-neighborliness, [and] non-interference in each other’s internal affairs,” and to involve the peaceful settlement of disputes, such as over border, water, and energy issues [79]. He stated that relations with Iran would be expanded, but Tajikistan has not announced any significant joint projects with Iran since.

    Some Sunni Islamist extremist groups that pose a threat to Tajikistan are allied with Sunni extremist groups, such as Al Qaeda, that Iranian leaders have publicly identified as threats to Iran and to the broader Islamic world. Tajikistan’s leaders appear particularly concerned about Islamist movements in part because the Islamist-led United Tajik Opposition posed a serious threat to the newly independent government in the early 1990s, and a settlement of the insurgency in the late 1990s did not fully resolve government-Islamist opposition tensions. The Tajikistan government has detained members of Jundallah (Warriors of Allah)—a Pakistan-based Islamic extremist group that has conducted bombings and attacks against Iranian security personnel and mosques in Sunni areas of eastern Iran. In part because the group attacked some civilian targets in Iran, in November 2010, the U.S. State Department named the group an FTO—an action praised by Iran.

    Note: Based on the Iran’s Foreign Policy Report.

    Resources

    Notes and References

    1. 79 Center for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), March 16, 2013, Doc. No. CEL-54015758.

    Sudan

    Sudan in Iran

    Sudan

    Iran has had close relations with the government of Sudan since the early 1990s, but that relationship appears to have frayed substantially as Sudan has moved closer to Iran’s rival, Saudi Arabia since 2014. Sudan, like Iran, is still named by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism. At their height, Iran’s relations with Sudan provided Iran with leverage against Egypt, a United States ally, and a channel to supply weapons to Hamas and other pro-Iranian groups in the Gaza Strip [121]. The relationship began in the 1990s when Islamist leaders in Sudan, who came to power in 1989, welcomed international Islamist movements to train and organize there. Iran began supplying Sudan with weapons it used on its various fronts, such as the one with South Sudan, and the QF reportedly has armed and trained Sudanese forces, including the Popular Defense Force militia [122]. Some observers say Iranian pilots have assisted Sudan’s air force, and Iran’s naval forces have periodically visited Port Sudan. Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of shipping weapons bound for Gaza through Sudan [123] and, in October 2012, Israel bombed a weapons factory in Khartoum that Israel asserted was a source of Iranian weapons supplies for Hamas. In March 2014, Israel intercepted an Iranian shipment of rockets that were headed to Port Sudan [124].

    Development of the Country’s International Relations in relation to this Subject

    Sudan is inhabited by Sunni Arabs and has always been considered susceptible to overtures from Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries to distance itself from Iran. Since 2014, Saudi economic assistance to and investment in Sudan have caused Sudan to realign. In September 2014, the Sudan government closed all Iranian cultural centers in Sudan and expelled the cultural attaché and other Iranian diplomats on the grounds that Iran was using its facilities and personnel in Sudan to promote Shiite Islam [125]. In March 2015, Sudan joined the Saudi-led Arab coalition against the Houthis in Yemen, appearing to confirm that Sudan has significantly downgraded its strategic relations with Iran. In mid-October, a reported 300 Sudanese military personnel deployed to Yemen to fight against the Houthis alongside the Saudi-led coalition [126]. In December 2015, Sudan joined the Saudi-led anti-terrorism coalition discussed earlier. In January 2016, Sudan severed ties with Iran in connection with the Saudi-Iran dispute over the Nimr execution.

    Note: Based on the Iran’s Foreign Policy Report.

    Resources

    Notes and References

    1. 121 Michael Lipin. “Sudan’s Iran Alliance Under Scrutiny.” VOANews, October 31, 2012. http://www.voanews.com/content/article/1536472.html.

      122 http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/terrorism-security/2012/1025/Did-Israel-just-blow-up-an-Iranian-weapons-factory-in-Sudan.

      123 “Were the Israelis Behind the ‘Mystery’ Air Strike in Sudan?” Time, April 6, 2011; “Car Blast in E. Sudan, Khartoum Points to Israel,” Reuters, May 22, 2012; “Rockets and Meetings,” Africa Confidential, May 25, 2012.Weapons Documented in South Kordofan,” Small Arms Survey, April 2012.

      124 http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Israel-Navy-intercepts-Gaza-bound-Iranian-rocket-ship-near-Port-Sudan-344369.

      125 Sudan Expels Iranian Diplomats and Closes Cultural Centers. The Guardian, September 2, 2014.

    2. 126 Sudan sends ground troops to Yemen to boost Saudi-led coalition. Reuters, October 18, 2015. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/18/us-yemen-security-sudan-idUSKCN0SC0E120151018#EvfuzFr1DiRokyo9.99.

    Iraq

    Iraq in Iran

    Iraq

    [33] In Iraq, the United States military ousting of Saddam Hussein in 2003 benefitted Iran strategically by removing a long-time antagonist and producing governments led by Shiite Islamists who have long-standing ties to Iran. Iran backed the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite Islamist. Maliki supported most of Iran’s regional goals, for example by allowing Iran to overfly Iraqi airspace to supply the Asad regime [34]. The June 2014 offensive led by the Islamic State organization at one point brought Islamic State forces to within 50 miles of the Iranian border. Iran responded quickly by supplying the Baghdad government as well as the peshmerga force of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) with IRGC-QF advisers, intelligence drone surveillance, weapons shipments, and other direct military assistance [35].

    Development of the Country’s International Relations in relation to this Subject

    The United States and Iran have worked in parallel, although separately, to assist the Iraqi government against the Islamic State organization. Subsequent to the Islamic State offensive, Iranian leaders reportedly acquiesced to United States insistence that Iran’s longtime ally Maliki be replaced by a different Shiite Islamist, Haydar Al Abbadi, who pledged to be more inclusive of Sunni leaders [36]. United States officials have said that Iran’s targeting of the Islamic State contributes positively to United States efforts to assist the Iraqi government, but many aspects of Iranian policy in Iraq complicate the anti-Islamic State effort.

    A major feature of Iran’s policy in Iraq has been to support Shiite militias, some of which fought the United States during 2003-2011. During that United States intervention, Iran reportedly armed some of these militias with upgraded rocket-propelled munitions, such as Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAMs). Shiite militias are estimated to have killed about 500 United States military personnel during 2003-2011 [37]. Current estimates of the total Shiite militiamen in Iraq number about 110,000-120,000, including the long-standing Iran-backed militias discussed below as well as the approximately 40,000 men who joined to fight alongside the ISF against the Islamic State. United States officials in Iraq have placed the number of Iran-backed Shiite militias at about 80,000 [38]. The recently recruited PMFs work directly with the ISF and have received United States air strike support in some battles since mid-2015. Collectively, all of the Shiite militias are known as Popular Mobilization Forces or Units (PMFs or PMUs), also known by the Arabic name of Hashid al-Shaabi. The PMFs report to a Popular Mobilization Committee that is headed by National Security Adviser Falih Al Fayyad; its deputy head is Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, who also leads the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia. The PMFs received about $1 billion from the government budget in the 2015 budget, which was increased to $2 billion in the 2016 budget. The PMFs might also receive funds from Iran and from various parastatal organizations in Iran [39].

    More on this Topic

    The commanders of the long-standing and most powerful militias, including Asa’ib Ahl Al Haq’s Qais Khazali, the Badr Organization’s Hadi al-Amiri, and Kata’ib Hezbollah’s Muhandis, are said to wield significant political influence. They have close ties to Iran dating from their underground struggle against Saddam Hussein in the 1980s and 1990s, and the commanders have publicly pressured Abbadi to reduce his reliance on the United States and ally more closely with Iran.

    Note: Based on the Iran’s Foreign Policy Report.

    Resources

    Notes and References

    1. 33 For more information, see CRS Report RS21968, Iraq: Politics and Governance, by Kenneth Katzman and Carla E. Humud.

      34 Michael Gordon, “Iran Supplying Syrian Military Via Iraqi Airspace,” New York Times, September 5, 2012.

      35 “Iran News Agency Reports Death of Iranian Pilot in Iraq.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. July 5, 2014.

    2. 36 Babak Dehghanpisheh. “Iran Dramatically Shifts Iraq Policy to Confront Islamic State.” Reuters, September 2, 2014.

      37 http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/capitol-hill/2015/07/14/iran-linked-to-deaths-of-500-us-troops-in-iraq-afghanistan/30131097/.

      38 http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/08/16/us-officials-up-to-100000-iran-backed-fighters-now-in-iraq.html.

      39 Ned Parker. “Power Failure in Iraq as Militias Outgun State.” Reuters, October 21, 2015.

    Foreign Policy Ideology

    Foreign Policy Ideology in Iran

    Foreign Policy Ideology

    The ideology of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution continues to influence Iran’s foreign policy. The revolution overthrew a secular authoritarian leader, the Shah of Iran, who the leaders of the revolution asserted had suppressed Islam and its clergy. A clerical regime was established in which ultimate power is invested in a “Supreme Leader” who melds political and religious authority.

    • In the early years after the revolution, Iran attempted to “export” its revolution to nearby Muslim states. In the late 1990s, Iran abandoned that goal because promoting it succeeded only in producing resistance to Iran in the region [5].
    • Iran’s leaders assert that the political and economic structures of the Middle East are heavily weighted against “oppressed” peoples and in favor of the United States and its allies, particularly Israel. Iranian leaders generally describe as “oppressed” peoples: the Palestinians, who do not have a state of their own, and Shiite Muslims, who are underrepresented and economically disadvantaged minorities in many countries of the region.
    • Iran claims that the region’s politics and economics have been distorted by Western intervention and economic domination that must be brought to an end. Iranian officials claim that the creation of Israel is a manifestation of Western intervention that deprived the Palestinians of legitimate rights.
    • Iran claims its ideology is non-sectarian, and that it supports movements that are both Sunni and Shiite—rebutting critics who say that Iran pursues only sectarian policies and supports Shiite movements exclusively. Iran cites its support for Sunni groups such as Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad—Shiqaqi Faction, as evidence that it is not pursuing a sectarian agenda. Iran also cites its support for a secular and Sunni Palestinian group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—General Command (PFLP-GC), as a demonstration that it will even work with non-Islamist groups to promote the rights of the Palestinians.

    Note: Based on the Iran’s Foreign Policy Report.

    Resources

    Notes and References

    1. 5 Soner Cagaptay, James F. Jeffrey, and Mehdi Khalaji. “Iran Won’t Give Up on Its Revolution.” New York Times, op-ed. April 26, 2015.

    Afghanistan

    Afghanistan in Iran

    Afghanistan

    In Afghanistan, Iran is pursuing a multi-track strategy by helping develop Afghanistan economically, engaging the central government, supporting pro-Iranian groups and, at times, arming some Taliban fighters. An Iranian goal appears to be to restore some of its traditional sway in eastern, central, and northern Afghanistan, where “Dari”-speaking (Dari is akin to Persian) supporters of the “Northern Alliance” grouping of non-Pashtun Afghan minorities predominate. The two countries are said to be cooperating effectively in their shared struggle against narcotics trafficking; Iranian border forces take consistent heavy losses in operations to try to prevent the entry of narcotics into Iran. Iran has also sought to use its commerce with Afghanistan to try to blunt the effects of international sanctions against Iran [84]. Iran also shares with the Afghan government concern about the growth of Islamic State affiliates in Afghanistan, such as Islamic State—Khorasan Province, ISKP, an affiliate of the Islamic State organization that Iran is trying to thwart on numerous fronts in the region.

    Iran has sought influence in Afghanistan in part by supporting the Afghan government, which is dominated by Sunni Muslims and ethnic Pashtuns. In October 2010, then-President Hamid Karzai admitted that Iran was providing cash payments (about $2 million per year) to his government, through his chief of staff [85]. Iran’s close ally, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who is half-Tajik and speaks Dari, is “Chief Executive Officer” of the Afghan government under a power-sharing arrangement with President Ashraf Ghani that resolved a dispute over the 2014 presidential election. It is not known whether Iran continues to give cash payments to any of Afghanistan’s senior leaders.

    Development of the Country’s International Relations in relation to this Subject

    Reflecting apparent concern about the United States military presence in Afghanistan, Iran reportedly tried to derail the United States-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), signed in September 2014. The BSA allows the United States to maintain troops in Afghanistan after 2014 but explicitly prohibits the United States from using Afghanistan as a base from which to launch military action against other countries. Iran has largely muted its opposition to a continued United States military presence in Afghanistan in the interests of containing Sunni Islamist extremist movements operating in Afghanistan, including Al Qaeda and ISKP. President Ghani and Iranian leaders meet periodically, in part to discuss their cooperation against Sunni extremist groups [86].

    More on this Topic

    Even though it engages the Afghan government, Tehran has in the recent past sought leverage against United States forces in Afghanistan and in any Taliban-Afghan government peace settlement. Past U.S. State Department reports on international terrorism have accused Iran of providing materiel support, including 107mm rockets, to select Taliban and other militants in Afghanistan, and of training Taliban fighters in small unit tactics, small arms use, explosives, and indirect weapons fire [87]. In July 2012, Iran allowed the Taliban to open an office in Zahedan (eastern Iran) [88].

    The past Iranian support to some Taliban factions came despite the fact that Iran saw the Taliban regime in Afghanistan of 1996-2001 as an adversary. The Taliban allegedly committed atrocities against Shiite Afghans (Hazara tribes) while seizing control of Persian-speaking areas of western and northern Afghanistan. Taliban fighters killed nine Iranian diplomats at Iran’s consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in August 1998, prompting Iran to mobilize ground forces to the Afghan border.

    Note: Based on the Iran’s Foreign Policy Report.

    Resources

    Notes and References

    1. 84 Matthew Rosenberg and Annie Lowry, “Iranian Currency Traders Find a Haven in Afghanistan,” New York Times, August 18, 2012.

      85 Dexter Filkins. “Iran Is Said to Give Top Karzai Aide Cash by the Bagful.” New York Times, October 23, 2010.

    2. 86 “Afghanistan, Iran to Work together Against “Macabre” IS Threat.” RFE/RL, April 22, 2015.

      87 U.S. State Department. Country Reports on International Terrorism: 2011. http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2011/195547.htm.

      88 Maria Abi-Habib, “Tehran Builds On Outreach to Taliban,” Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2012.

    Turkmenistan

    Turkmenistan in Iran

    Turkmenistan

    Turkmenistan and Iran have a land border in Iran’s northeast. Supreme Leader Khamene’i is of Turkic origin; his family has close ties to the Iranian city of Mashhad, capital of Khorasan Province, which borders Turkmenistan. The two countries are also both rich in natural gas reserves. A natural gas pipeline from Iran to Turkey, fed with Turkmenistan’s gas, began operations in 1997, and a second pipeline was completed in 2010. Turkmenistan still exports some natural gas through the Iran-Turkey gas pipeline, but China has since become Turkmenistan’s largest natural gas customer. Perhaps in an attempt to diversify gas export routes, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov signaled in 2007 that Turkmenistan sought to develop a trans-Caspian gas pipeline. That project has not been implemented, to date.

    Another potential project favored by Turkmenistan and the United States would likely reduce interest in pipelines that transit Iran. President Berdymukhamedov has revived his predecessor’s 1996 proposal to build a gas pipeline through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India (termed the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India, or “TAPI” pipeline). In August 2015, Turkmenistan’s state-owned gas company was named head of the pipeline consortium and Turkmenistan officials said the project was formally inaugurated in December 2015 [77], with completion expected in 2019. United States officials have expressed strong support for the project as “a very positive step forward and sort of a key example of what we’re seeking with our New Silk Road Initiative, which aims at regional integration to lift all boats and create prosperity across the region [78]”.

    Note: Based on the Iran’s Foreign Policy Report.

    Resources

    Notes and References

    1. 77 http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/15/turkmenistan-pipeline-idUSL5N11L0RE20150915.

      78 U.S. Department of State, Daily Press Briefing, May 23, 2012.

    Foreign Diplomacy

    Foreign Diplomacy in Iran

    Foreign Diplomacy

    Iran’s foreign policy also makes active use of traditional diplomatic tools.

    • Iran has an active Foreign Ministry and maintains embassies or representation in all countries with which it has diplomatic relations. Khamene’i has rarely traveled outside Iran as Supreme Leader, but he did so during his presidency (1981-1989), including to U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York. Iran’s presidents, including the current President Rouhani, travel regularly in and outside the region and host foreign leaders in Tehran.
    • Iran actively participates in or seeks to join many different international organizations, including those that are dominated by members critical of Iran’s policies. Iran has sought to join the United States and Europe-dominated World Trade Organization (WTO) since the mid-1990s. Its prospects for being admitted have increased now that the JCPOA is being implemented, but the process of accession is complicated and might yet take several years. Iran also seeks membership in such regional organizations as the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that groups Central Asian states with Russia and China. Iran is an observer in the SCO, and officials from several SCO countries have said that the JCPOA likely removes obstacles to Iran’s obtaining full membership [17]. From August 2012 until August 2015, Iran held the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which has about 120 member states and 17 observer countries and generally shares Iran’s criticisms of big power influence over global affairs. In August 2012, Iran hosted the NAM annual summit.
    • Iran is a party to all major nonproliferation conventions, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Iran insists that it has adhered to all its commitments under these conventions, but the international community asserted that it did not meet all its NPT obligations and that Iran needed to prove that its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes. Negotiations between Iran and international powers on this issue began in 2003 and culminated with the July 2015 JCPOA.
    • Iran participates in multilateral negotiations to try to resolve the civil conflict in Syria. However, United States officials say that Iran only seeks to appear cooperative while focusing primarily on ensuring Asad’s continuation in power.

    Note: Based on the Iran’s Foreign Policy Report.

    Resources

    Notes and References

    1. 17 http://www.globalresearch.ca/geopolitical-shift-iran-to-become-full-member-of-the-shanghai-cooperation-organization-sco/5465355.

    Termination of Contract

    Termination of Contract in Iran

    Buyer’s Right to Termination of Contract Under Iranian and Shi’ah Law

    Introduction

    Iranian Civil Code and Shi’ah jurisprudence have based termination on a complex system of kheyarat (options).[1] Under this heading, the jurists have extensively examined various cases in which an aggrieved party may be entitled to terminate the contract. These cases differ from one book to another.[2] Some have gathered the options under five categories,[3] others under seven,[4] and a third group has gone further and talked of fourteen separate options.[5] However, it seems that the difference is in codifying the headings of options rather than in granting the aggrieved party the right to terminate the contract in those circumstances.[6]

    In order to have a general picture of the various circumstances identified in the leading text books, all of the options will be mentioned below:

    • kheyar-e-majlis (the option of the (contract) meeting-place)[7];
    • kheyar-e-haywan (the option of animal)[8];
    • kheyar-e-ta’khir (the option of delayed payment of the consideration)[9];
    • kheyar-e-shart (the option of condition)[10];
    • kheyar-e-ghabn (the option of lesion)[11];
    • kheyar-e-a’yb (the option of defect);
    • kheyar-e- rou’yat (the option of inspection);
    • kheyar-e-takhalluf an al- wasf (the option of incorrect description);
    • kheyar-e-takhalluf an al- shart (the option of unfulfilled condition);
    • kheyar-e-tadlis (the option of misrepresentation)[12];
    • kheyar -e-taba’ud safqah (the option of sales unfulfilled in part)[13];
    • kheyar-e-sherkat (the option of partnership)[14];
    • kheyar-e-teflis (the option of insolvency)[15];
    • kheyar-e-ta’dhdhur-e-taslim (the option of impossibility of performance)[16];
    • kheyar-e-emtena’ (the option of refusal).

    Dealing with termination in this way caused a number of important questions to be left unanswered. First, it is not clear what is the relationship between the buyer’s right to withhold performance and that of termination. More importantly, it has not been made clear what lack of conformity will entitle the buyer to terminate the contract. Third, notwithstanding that almost all jurists have accepted the view that where the seller of unascertained goods makes a non-conforming delivery, the buyer has only a right to reject, they have not addressed the question whether the seller has a right to cure, and if so, under what circumstances he can exercise his right.

    It seems that the best way to deal with the issue is first to identify the grounds upon which the above-mentioned options are justified, and then to examine the options relevant to the issue in question on the basis of their proper rationale, and finally to evaluate the relevant options in accordance with their proper grounds.

    Grounds for Termination

    It is commonly said that the right of termination in Iranian civil law and Shi’ah jurisprudence is an exception to the dictum “asl-e-luzoum-e- a’qd” (pacta sunt servanda) rather than a rule.An obvious consequence of this principle is that so long as the performance of a binding contract is possible, the contracting parties are required to perform their contractual obligations. Read more about the Grounds for Termination of contract here. See also the entry on Grounds for Kheyarat (Iran) here.

    Mechanism of Termination

    In Iranian civil law and Shi’ah jurisprudence termination is a matter of election. Thus breach of contract does not automatically result in termination of the contract. This fact can easily be inferred from the definitions suggested by the jurists in respect of the concept of kheyar Although in terms of terminology, Shi’ah jurists have defined the term in different ways,all of them agreed that kheyar simply gives a party a right to terminate the contract if he wishes. Accordingly, termination of the contract is always at the option of the party who is given such a right. Read more about the Mechanism of Termination.

    By Mirghasem Jafarzadeh. LLB (University of Tehran), LLM (University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran-Iran, and, Sheffield University, Sheffield-England) and PhD (Sheffield University, Sheffield-England). Senior lecturer at the Department of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran-Iran.

    Resources

    Notes and References

    1. As a matter of terminology, in Iranian civil law and Shi’ah jurisprudence the process of bringing the contract to an end on account of breach of contract is described by the term faskh and the right to do so is called kheyar-e-faskh. The term faskh is controversial. Generally, the term has been defined in two phrases. According to the first, faskh is to put an end to a valid contract (see in this respect, Karimi, S. J., and, Amuli, M. H. (1380 H.Q.) vol. 4 at 23). According to the other, the term means “rejection, and, restitution of subject-matter of the contract” (see e.g., Khurasani, M. K., (1406 H. Q.) at 266; Gharavi Isfahani, M. H., (1408 H. Q.) vol. 2 at 45; Khumayni, S. R. M., vol. 5 at 258, 259, 270, 271, 327, 328). The main effect of this difference appears where the subject-matter of the contract deteriorates, is consumed or is transferred to a third party. It seems hard to accept the view that the concept of termination involves rejection and restoration of the subject-matter of the contract. Rejection can be an evidence on the intention to terminate the contract; but rejection and restoration of the subject-matter is in fact one of the consequences of a valid termination, or, alternatively, one could argue, a pre-requisite of a valid termination, but not termination itself. Accordingly, it can be said with certainty that the term faskh is used to describe, the bringing a valid contract into an end. In this sense, the term refers to the same concept as the English term “termination.”
    2. See generally, Makki, M. (Shahid Awwal), and Ameli, Z. (Shahid Thani), (1309 H.Q.) vol. 1 at 372; Bahrani, Y., vol. 19, at 3; Ansari, M. (1375 H.Q.) at 216.
    3. See e.g., Helli, A. N. J. (Muhaqqeq Helli), (1377 H.Q.) at 100.
    4. See e.g., Ansari, M. (1375 H.Q.) at 216. Almost all jurists after him have also confined to the seven.
    5. See for instance, Makki, M. (Shahid Awwal), and Ameli, Z. (Shahid Thani), (1309 H.Q.) vol. 1 at 372. However, Iranian Civil Code has listed those circumstances in ten numbers (see Art. 396).
    6. See e.g., Najafi, M. H., (1981) vol. 23, at 3; Ansari, M., (1375 H.Q.) at 216; Touhidi, M. A., and Khouei, S. A. (1368 H.S.) vol. 6 at 56.
    7. This option is clearly defined by Art. 397 of I. C. C. For more information see, Ameli, Z. (Shahid Thani), vol. 1 at 177; Bahrani, Y., vol. 19 at 4 and seq.; Ansari, M. (1375 H.Q.) at 216.
    8. Art. 398 of I. C. C. has defined this option. For a detailed discussion see, Mamaqani, A., (1345 H. Q.) at 45 (who applies, contrary to most jurists, the option to the case of certain unascertained animals), Imami, S. H., (1363 H.S.) vol. 1 at 479). See generally, Ameli, Z. (Shahid Thani), vol. 1 at 178; Ansari, M. (1375 H.Q.) at. 224; Najafi, M., and, Naeini, M. H., (1358 H.Q.) vol. 2 at 31;.
    9. See for instance, Ameli, Z. (Shahid Thani), vol. 1 at 180; Ansari, M. (1375 H.Q.) at 244-247; Touhidi, M. A., and Khouei, S. A. (1368 H.S.) vol. 7 at 4 and 8-19; Tabrizi, J., (1412 H. Q.) at 234-245; I.C.C., Arts. 402, 407). This is only the seller who is entitled to terminate the contract where the buyer delays in payment of the price. It is often said that the buyer cannot do so where the seller delays to deliver the goods (see e.g., Najafi, M., and, Naeini, M. H., (1358 H.Q.) vol. 2 at 94; Khalkhali, S. M. K., & Rashti, M. H., (1407 H. Q.) vol. 2, at 542; I. C. C., Art. 406. This particular option is based on the particular authorities (see in this respect, Bahrani, Y., vol. 19, at 44; Ansari, M. (1375 H.Q.) at 244-247; Khalkhali, S. M. K., & Rashti, M. H., (1407 H. Q.) vol. 2, at 543-544; Najafi, M., and, Naeini, M. H., (1358 H.Q.) vol. 2 at 94; Touhidi, M. A., and Khouei, S. A. (1368 H.S.) vol. 7 at 4-8).
    10. See e.g., Ameli, Z. (Shahid Thani), vol. 1 at 179; Ansari, M. (1375 H.Q.) at 228-229; I.C.C., Art. 399).
    11. See e.g., Ansari, M. (1375 H.Q.) at 234; I.C.C. Art. 416; Katouzian, N., (1990) vol. 5 at 217).
    12. See e.g., Helli, M. M. (Allamah Helli), and, Ameli, S. M. J. H., vol. 4 at 644 and 645; Ansari, M. (1375 H.Q.) at 398. See also, Katouzian, N., (1990) vol. 5, at 326, 354; Owsia, P. (1992) at 297; I.C.C., Art. 438.
    13. See Bujnourdi, M. H., (1389 H.Q) vol. 2, at. 137; Maraghei, M. F., (1274 H. Q.) at 194; and seq).
    14. See e.g., Makki, M. (Shahid Awwal), and Ameli, Z. (Shahid Thani), (1309 H.Q.) vol. 1 at 386).
    15. See e.g., Makki, M. (Shahid Awwal), and Ameli, Z. (Shahid Thani), (1309 H.Q.) vol. 1 at 389, and, 402; Najafi, M. H., (1981) vol. 25 at 295; Tabrizi, J., (1412 H. Q.) at 580). I.C.C. has no mention of this option but see Art. 380. See also, Imami, S. H., (1363 H.S.) vol. 1 at 527; Katouzian, N., (1990) vol. 5 at 393; Katouzian,, N., (1992) vol. 1 at 217). It is to be noted that the option is purely for the seller, the buyer cannot enjoy from it. In the case of the seller’s insolvency, the buyer can rely on the option of impossibility of performance.
    16. See e.g., Shahid Makki, M. (Shahid Awwal), and Ameli, Z. (Shahid Thani), (1309 H.Q.) vol. 1 386; Gulpaygani, S. M. R., (1371 H. S.) at. 361 (question 2132); Khumayni, S. R. M., (1369 H. S.) at 373 (question 2124)). For the position of Iranian Civil Code see, Katouzian, N., (1989) vol. 3 at 263; Katouzian, N., (1990) vol. 5 at 395.

    See Also

    Withhold Performance

    Further Reading

    Books and Articles

    Amiri Qaemmaqami, A.: The law of Obligations, (Tehran, 1347 H.S.) vol. 1.
    Broujerdi Abduh, M.: Civil Law, (Tehran, 1329 H.S.) vol. 3. Imami, S. H.: Civil Law, (Kitab Furoushi Islami, Tehran, 1363 H.S. 4th ed.) vol. 1.
    Jafari Langroudi, M.J.: The Law of Obligations, (Entesharat-e-Madreseh-e-Ali-e-Umour-e-Ghadaei-e-Gum, 1354 H.S.).
    Katouzian, N.: Iranian Civil Law (Specific Contracts), (Sharkat Inteshar, Tehran, 1992, 4th. ed.) vol. 1.
    Katouzian, N.: The Law of Contracts, (Behnashr Publications, Tehran, 1989) vol. 3.
    Katouzian, N.: The Law of Contracts, (Behnashr Publications, Tehran, 1990) vol. 4.
    Katouzian, N.: The Law of Contracts, (Behnashr Publications, Tehran, 1990) vol. 5.
    Khumayni, S. R. M.: Toudih al- Masael, (Kanoun Intesharat Payam Mehrab, Tehran, 1369 H.S. 8th ed.).
    Owsia, P.: “Tadlis, A Comparative Study under English, French, Islamic and Iranian Laws,” in: Katouzian, N.: Developments of Private Law, (Tehran University Publications, Tehran, 1992).

    Judicial Decisions

    Decision No. 569 – 1329/3/25 cited in: Iranian Civil Code, Art. 410, (Nikfar, M., (ed. 1372 H.S.).

    Statutes

    Iranian Civil Code (I.C.C.) (1307, 1313 and 1314 H.S./ 1928, 1934 and 1935, as amended in 1361 (1982) and 1370 (1991), translated by Taleghani, M.A.R., Littleton, Colorado, 1995).

    Iranian Civil Code (I.C.C.) (1307, 1313 and 1314 H.S./ 1928, 1934 and 1935, as amended in 1361 (1982) and 1370 (1991), edited by: Nikfar, M., (Kayhan Publication, Tehran, 1372 H.S.).

    Iranian Civil Procedure Act 1379 H.S./ 2000.

    Iranian Criminal Procedure Act 1377 H.S./ 1999.

    Iranian Constitution (1358 H.S./1378, as amended in 1367/1988).

    Persian Materials

    Gulpaygani, S. M. R.: Tawdih al- Masael, (Intesharat Dar al- quran al- Hakim, Qum, Iran, 1371 H.S., 68th ed.).