Mediation in Iran: Current Status and Future Challenges

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism that is gaining momentum in different jurisdictions.
In Iran, the current domestic legal framework lacks comprehensive legislation but contains several articles providing for ADR mechanisms that apply in specific circumstances. Although these mechanisms do not amount to mediation construed stricto sensu, they bear some similarities thereto.
Despite the current state of the legislative framework in Iran, a pro-mediation trend can be observed in the country, as Iranian arbitration centres have started to offer mediation services and to issue institutional mediation rules. In recent years, concerns voiced by practitioners regarding the efficiency of arbitration in terms of time and cost, have accelerated the rising success of mediation. Moreover, Iran's signature of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (the Singapore Convention on Mediation or the Singapore Convention) is an encouraging step towards the promotion of mediation in the country. This article addresses the uncertainties that remain, together with a few guidelines for promoting the use of mediation in Iran as an effective tool to resolve disputes.


Mediation can be defined as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism that ultimately leads to the settlement of disputes outside state courts through the intervention of a neutral third party (i.e. the mediator). The mediator is not empowered by the parties to settle the dispute by rendering a binding decision. The role of the mediator is to facilitate the re-establishment of a dialogue between the parties by assisting them in drafting a settlement agreement.

More precisely, mediation is a fast-track procedure (often carried out within a fairly short period of time, ranging from a few hours to a few months), during which the solution is crafted by the parties themselves. As such, mediation helps preserving the parties commercial relationship and promotes a pro-business climate. The process is confidential, i.e. documents and information exchanged during the mediation cannot be subsequently submitted before a court or an arbitral tribunal.

There are different types of mediation

  • Judicial (initiated by the judge, before which the dispute is already submitted, who will suggest a mediation process to the parties), in contrast with conventional (initiated by the parties outside judicial proceedings).
  • Institutional (supervised and managed by an institution, offering services in relation to the appointment of mediators and detailed mediation rules), in contrast with ad hoc (organized by the parties themselves outside any institution).
  • Compulsory (a prerequisite to the referral of the dispute to the judge, as expressly set out in legislation,), in contrast with consensual (where the parties choose to resort to mediation, even though they are not compelled to do so).In light of the high number of pending cases before Iranian courts, the judiciary has put in place a series of measures aiming to remedy this situation, including the promotion of ADR. As such, on 7 August 2019, the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) signed the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (the Singapore Convention on Mediation or the Convention).


Read the full article: Mediation in Iran Current statuts and future challenges IJAA – Vol. 14 (2022), No. 1.

This article is an extract from Volume 14 (2022), No. 1 of the International Journal of Arab Arbitration. The IJAA is available on


Sima Ghaffari

Sima Ghaffari is a member of the Tehran Bar Association and an arbitrator at Arbitration Center of Iran Chamber of Commerce (ACIC). She is also an ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF) Representative for the Middle East and Turkey Regional Chapter.

Joséphine Hage Chahine

Joséphine Hage Chahine is admitted to the Beirut and Paris Bars and lectures at Sorbonne University.

David Lutran

David Lutran, admitted to the Paris Bar, is a certified mediator and lectures on mediation at several French universities.

Préférences de confidentialité
Lorsque vous visitez notre site Web, il peut stocker des informations via votre navigateur à partir de services spécifiques, généralement sous forme de cookies. Ici, vous pouvez modifier vos préférences de confidentialité. Veuillez noter que le blocage de certains types de cookies peut avoir un impact sur votre expérience sur notre site Web et les services que nous proposons.