Iran and legal barriers to join W.T.O
There are certain legal barriers in Iranian legal system that needs to be changed in order for Iran to fulfil the standard requirements of World Trade Organisation. Following the structure of Iranian legal system some of these principles do not exist in or are not in harmony with the current principles of international trade law. Some of them are government monopoly over foreign trade, government encouragement of exports, discriminatory treatment among the countries trading with Iran, reciprocal trade conduct with the other countries, exemption of exports from customs duties, permission of imports vis-à-vis exports, and seeking a trade balance with other countries. There are some impediments in relation to foreign employment in Iran. According to Article 82 of the constitution, the government is not allowed to employ foreign experts unless it is necessary and approved by parliament.
Furthermore, Article 44 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was revised by Supreme Leader  in 2006 in order to meet the regulations of WTO. Accordingly, the government is assigned to cede 80 percent of the shares of major state-owned enterprises to the people in order to support the targets envisioned by the 20-Year Strategy for Economic, Social and Cultural Development. By putting into practice the action plan, the government’s role will undergo a shift from direct involvement in ownership and running the large companies to supervisory and guidance of different sectors of the economy to meet the regulations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) gradually. Iran is keen to join the World Trade Organization. But, seemingly besides other mainly political reasons, some of its already established legal principles in the field of foreign trade and other related economic and commercial fields, bar its achievement of this important goal. This paper examines the legal barriers Iranian legal system confronts and also suggests possible solution to tackle the problems.
The following issues should be taken into account:
- The major focus of the thesis is on the legal barriers but not political or economic barriers.
- The legal barriers that need to be changed include but not excluded to:
(i). Foreign investment law and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Iran;
(ii). Employment law particularly in relation to foreign employment;
(iii). Privatization following Article 44 of Iranian Constitution and “action plan”;
(iv). Patent law and intellectual property law in Iran
3. The reference should be made to relevant WTO regulations and treaties
4. The recent changes should be indicated while possible recommendations should be made in order to change relevant regulations to fulfil WTO regulations
5. Australian Guide for Citation should be followed for references.
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