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Iran Index
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Constitutional Background

The former monarchy and the Constitution of 1906 were abolished by the revolution of February 1979. The 1979 Constitution dates 24 Oct 1979 and is in force since 3 Dec 1979. Significant amendments were adopted on 28 July 1989.

1. The 270-member Majlis (Islamic Consultative Assembly) can initiate laws (cf.Art. 71), but is subject to a number of restrictions (Art. 72) and needs the support of at least fifteen members (Art. 74). The Majlis can hinder the President's policy, veto cabinet appointments, and even impeach ministers. Its speaker is powerful due to his seat on all of the main councils of state.

2. The Preamble is very long, containing a history of the revolution, a description of the new state, and quotes of Koranic verses. The Preamble states that Economy is a Means, Not an End. It also asserts that the home centered role of Women in Islam is actually a liberation, assigning women special rights. Iran places no belief in Government Control.

3. Iran has an official religion, some recognized religious minorities, and acknowledges rights of non-Muslims. Iran grants a right to work, extensive welfare rights, and a right to fruits of business. The Constitution requires that the taking of foreign aid be approved by the Parliament. Concessions for foreign businesses are forbidden. The Constitution acknowledges committee legislation and features a religious leader as well as a Head of Judiciary. Public officials are subject to an asset control.

History and News

  • 23 May 1997: Surprisingly, presidential elections are won by Mohammad Khatami, favored by the intellectual left. After 11 years in office, he was disposed of his position as minister of culture and Islamic guidance in 1992 by President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani was barred by the Constitution from seeking a third consecutive term and did not get his favorite successor, the conservative cleric and speaker of parliament Ali Akbar Nateq-Noori, elected.
  • 10 May 1997: Earthquake near the Afghan border kills at least 1,600 people and makes 50,000 homeless.
  • 8 March 1996: Elections for the 270-seat Majlis, the consultative parliament.
  • 1990: With the Soviet's retreat from Afghanistan, refugees were sent back to their home country.
  • 1979: With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, about 3 million refugees came into Iran's Korasan region.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - December 16th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.