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The Oil Platforms case between Iran and the United States was the first proceeding in the history of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in which the applicant relied exclusively on a compromissory clause contained in a bilateral treaty to establish jurisdiction. This restriction mostly affected the U.S. counter-claim. This contribution will focus on the question whether the counter-claim might be considered, as Iran implied, an example of the inadmissible exercise of an actio popularis, or a "right resident in any member of a community to take legal action in vindication of a public interest" -in this case, ensuring safe shipping conditions in the Persian Gulf, an international shipping channel.

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