Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran

Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran [ [ قانون ] ] [ ] was adopted on October 24, 1979, and went into force on December 3 of that year, replacing the Constitution of 1906. [ [ Constitutional Background] "Hauser Global Law School Program"] It was amended on July 28, 1989. [ [ Constitutional Background] ]


The draft constitution published by the provisional government of Mehdi Bazargan in June 1979 was modeled on the 1958 constitution of the French Fifth Republic. Although the draft was altered later by the elective Assembly of Experts for Constitution, the offices of the President and the Prime Minister were retained for the executive branch of government from the French model. [ [ Civil Society and the Rule of Law in the Constitutional Politics of Iran Under Khatami –Iranian president Mohammad Khatami ] ]


The constitution begins by stating that the "anti-despotic movement for constitutional government [1906-1911] , and anti-colonialist movement for the nationalization of petroleum" in 1950s failed because of lack of religious coloring thereunder. Moreover, the "central axis" of the theocracy shall be Quran and hadith.

Preamble further states: "The Assembly of Experts for Constitution...fram [ed] the Constitution... [after input] by the government...with the hope that this century will witness the establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others." [ [ Framers' agenda] ] (See also: Mahdi and Mohammed al-Mahdi)

Chapter I [Article 1 to 14] : General Principles

Article 1 (Form of Government)

Article 1 states that the form of Government in Iran is that of an Islamic Republic. It explains this form is due to the referendum passed by 98% of the elegible voters of Iran and gives credit to Imam Khomeini for the victorious revolution.

Article 2 (Foundation Principles)

Article 2 defined an Islamic Republic as a system based on the belief:

* There is only one god.
* Understanding god's divine nature is fundamental in setting laws
* Human beings return to god after death.
* God is just.
* Leadership shall continue the revolution of Islam.

Article 2 goes on to state that human beings have dignity, value and freedom with responsibility to god. From that concept, several other governing concepts (for example equity & justice) are stated to be secured by:

* That the leadership be qualifed in regard to the Koran and the Sunnah.
* The government should advance the Arts & Sciences.
* Oppression in any form is not acceptable.

Article 3 (State Goals)

Article 3 states the objective of the Islamic Republic is to direct all of its resources to a number of goals. These goals cover general topics in governance. For example:

* Support good moral values based on faith
* Fight all forms of vice and corruption
* Raise public awareness through the proper use of the mass media and press
* Free education
* Free physical training
* Strengthening advanced scientific research
* The elimination of imperialism and foreign influence
* The elimination of despotism, autocracy and monopoly
* Ensure social and political freedoms within the law
* The end to all forms of undesirable discrimination

Some of the goals are put in context of the requirements of Islam. For example:

* The planing of a just economic system
* Public cooperation of all people
* The creation of the government's foreign policy

Article 4 (Islamic Principle)

Article 4 is immutable and the Council of Guardians ensures that all articles of the Constitution as well other laws are based on Islamic criteria.

Article 5 (Office of Religious Leader)

This article explains the leaders of Ummah must choose a leader in accordance with Article 107 for this office. This is stated to be related to the disappearance of the Twelfth Imam whom it asks God to return.

Chapter II [Article 15 to 18] : Official Language, Script, Calendar, & Flag of Country


Article 15 states that the "Official language (of Iran)... is Farsi... [and] ... the use of regional and tribal languages in the press and mass media, as well as for teaching of their literature in schools, is allowed in addition to Farsi.." Per Article 16, "Since the language of the Koran and Islamic texts ... is Arabic it must be taught ... in from elementary grades until the end of high school."

Chapter III [Article 19 to 42] : Rights of People

Article 23 of the Iranian constitution holds that “the investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.”

Article 24 safeguards press freedoms

Article 29 [Welfare benefits]

Chapter IV [Article 43 to 55] : Economy & Financial Affairs

The Islamic Republic is not a Communist state as the Islamic scholars fiercely oppose this. Notwithstanding this, pursuant to obsolete [ Public Information Notice: IMF Executive Board Concludes 2005 Article IV Consultation with the Islamic Republic of Iran ] ] [ Iran Daily - Economic Focus - 11/28/06 ] ] [ [ ] ] Article 44, "all large-scale and mother industries, foreign trade, major minerals, banking, insurance, power generation, dams, and large-scale irrigation networks, radio and television, post, telegraph and telephone services, aviation, shipping, roads, railroads and the like" are entirely owned by the government. According to the Article 44 of the Iranian Constitution, the economy of Iran is to consist of three sectors: state, cooperative, and private; and is to be based on systematic and sound planning.(See also: Privatization of the Iranian economy)

Chapter V [Article 56 to 61] : Right of National Sovereignty

Pursuant to Article 60, the president fulfills "executive" functions "except in the matters that are directly placed under the jurisdiction of the [Leader] " as enumerated in Article 110. Article 68 allows suspension of elections during wartime.

Article 57 states the Separation of Powers.

Chapter VI [Article 62 to 99] : Legislative Power

Article 81 [Foreign Business]

This article makes it impossible for a multinational corporation to take over certain businesses in Iran saying "concessions to foreigners or the formation of companies" in Iran is forbidden.

Chapter VII [Article 100 to 106] : Councils

Chapter VIII [Article 107 to 112] : Leader

Article 110 [Leadership Duties and Powers]

The constitution accords many powers to the Supreme Leader.

Some say that the Supreme Leader's powers extend beyond those enumerated in the Constitution because he can use "Islamic issues for justification." [ [ JURIST - Iran: Iranian Law, Legal Research, Human Rights ] ]

Article 112: If a proposed bill of Majles is "against the principles of Shariah or the Constitution," then the Guardian Council should meet with the Expediency Council to resolve the legislative deadlock.

Chapter IX [Article 113 to 151] : Presidency, Ministers, Army ,& Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

Article 146 [No Foreign Military Base]

"... [F] oreign military base in Iran, even for peaceful purposes, is forbidden."

Chapter X [Article 152 to 155] : Foreign Policy

The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran

Chapter XForeign Policy [ [ The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran] ]

Article 152The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based upon the rejection of all forms of domination, both the exertion of it and submission to it, the preservation of the independence of the country in all respects and its territorial integrity, the defence of the rights of all Muslims, non-alignment with respect to the hegemonic superpowers, and the maintenance of mutually peaceful relations with all non-belligerent States.

Article 153Any form of agreement resulting in foreign control over the natural resources, economy, army, or culture of the country, as well as other aspects of the national life, is forbidden.

Article 154The Islamic Republic of Iran has as its ideal human felicity throughout human society, and considers the attainment of independence, freedom, and rule of justice and truth to be the right of all people of the world. Accordingly, while scrupulously refraining from all forms of interference in the internal affairs of other nations, it supports the just struggles of the mustad'afun against the mustakbirun in every corner of the globe.

Article 155The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran may grant political asylum to those who seek it unless they are regarded as traitors and saboteurs according to the laws of Iran.

Chapter XI [Article 156 to 174] : Judiciary

Islamic laws & fatwas

Article 167 [Rule of Law for Judiciary] stipulates that judges must make use of "Islamic sources and...fatwas" in matters where the Iranian law books are silent.

Chapter XII [Article 175] : Radio & Television

This article guarantees the freedom of expression and dissemination of thoughts in the "Radio and Television of the Islamic Republic of Iran" when keeping with the Islamic criteria and best interests of the country. It gives the Leader the power to appoint and dismiss the head of the "Radio and Television of the Islamic Republic of Iran" and establishes a council with two representatives (six in total) from each branch of the government to supervise this organization. [ [ The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran ] ]

Chapter XIII [Article 176] : Supreme Council for National Security

Chapter 8, which has only one article, establishes Iran's National Security Council.

Chapter XIV [Article 177] : Revision of Constitution

This article regulates the process for revising the Constitution and puts a moratorium on revisions to particular aspects of the Constitution. Absent its own repeal, Article 177 requires an edict by the Leader to initiate the process of making future revisions to the Constitution.

Itself a revision to the Constitution, Article 177 necessitates a “Council for Revision of the Constitution” to make future amendments to the Constitution. This panel’s membership is exclusively governmental officials beyond the advice of 3 university professors. The final amendments are put to referendum in a process initiated by the executive [ The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran] ] unlike Article 59 referendum which must be approved by a supermajority of the Islamic Consultative Assembly. [ [ The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran] ] The article further stipulates that particular aspects of the Constitution are unalterable: the Islamic character of government and laws, the objectives of the republic, the democratic character of the government, “the absolute wilayat al-'amr and the leadership of the Ummah”, the administration of the country by referendum, and the official religion of Shi'a Islam.

ee also

* Politics of Iran
* Sharia
* Blasphemy laws of Islamic Republic of Iran
* List of members of Constitutional Amendment Council of Iran
* Iran Constitution of 1906

References and notes

External links

* [ Constitution of Iran] , as an unofficial English translation hosted at University of Bern, Switzerland (with good summaries)
* [ Islamic Republic of Iran Constitution]
* [ Article on the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran] from the Encyclopaedia Iranica resource. (Click 'Read' for each of the eight pages in turn.)
* [ Islamic Chamber Society]
* [ Iran Law Library]

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