Political Structure of Islamic Republic of Iran

Political Structure

Political structure
Feb 19th 2008
From the Economist Intelligence Unit
Source: Country Report


Official name

Islamic Republic of Iran

Legal system

Based on the constitution of 1979, which was amended in 1989


290-member Majlis-e-Shuray-e Islami (National Assembly). All candidates for the Majlis must be approved by the 12-member Guardian Council, six of whom are appointed by the supreme leader (rahbar) and six by the judiciary. Majlis legislation must also be approved by the Guardian Council. The Expediency Council mediates between the Majlis and the Guardian Council

Electoral system

Universal adult suffrage for elections to the Majlis, to the Assembly of Experts (the body that chooses the rahbar) and for the presidency

National elections

Next elections: March 2008 (legislative); June 2009 (presidential)

The supreme leader (rahbar)

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Head of state

President, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term for a maximum of two terms. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected in June 2005, replacing Mohammed Khatami


The post of prime minister was abolished in 1989. The new cabinet was approved by the Majlis in August 2005

Main political trends

The loose conservative group, Abadgaran-e Iran-e Islami, can technically marshal an outright majority in the Majlis. However, parliamentary factions are loose. The Second of Khordad (May 23rd) coalition, which dominated the 2000-04 Majlis, represents reformists

President: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Head of presidential office: Gholam-Hossein Elham

Key ministers

Commerce: Masoud Mir-Kazemi

Culture & Islamic guidance: Mohammed-Hossein Saffar-Harandi

Defence: Mostafa Mohammed-Najjar

Economy & finance: Davood Danesh-Jafari

Education: Mahmoud Farshidi

Energy: Parviz Fattah

Foreign affairs: Manouchehr Mottaki

Industries & mines: Ali Akbar Mehrabian

Information (intelligence): Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei

Interior: Mustafa Pour-Mohammedi

Justice: Gholam-Hossein Elham

Oil: Gholam-Hossein Nozari

Speaker of the Majlis: Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel

Head of the Supreme National Security Council: Saeed Jalili

Head of the Management & Planning Organisation: Amir Mansour Borghei

Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation: Gholam-Reza Aghazadeh

Central bank governor

Tahmaseb Mazaheri

Political forces
Oct 16th 2007
From the Economist Intelligence Unit
Source: Country ViewsWire

Majlis factions
Legitimate political activity is permitted only among those who publicly accept the velayat-e faqih (rule of the supreme Islamic jurisprudent). Political parties, legalised in 1998 after a 13-year ban, are still at an early stage of development and policy formation, and party discipline is inconsistent. Nevertheless, there are clear factions within the ruling hierarchy and in the Majlis. Although these have often been defined broadly as "reformist" or "conservative", the system is fluid and a range of political allegiances exist based on patronage, specific interests and the exchange of favours. Mr Khatami's government had to lobby strongly to move legislation even through the reformist-dominated Majlis, and its policies were frequently subject to complication or even reversal in the face of political manoeuvring or popular opposition. Since Mr Khatami was first elected in 1997, the Servants of Construction, the Assembly of the Militant Clergy, the Islamic Participation Front and the Crusaders of the Islamic Revolution have become well-established groups closely associated with the reformist camp. The conservative camp has been focused around the Society for Militant Clergy, the Allied Islamic Society and the Society of the Qom Seminary Teachers. Candidates who stood for the Abadgaran bloc in the 2004 elections were closely connected to the Office of the Supreme Leader, and this affiliation seems to have overridden others in importance in the 2004-08 Majlis. The Abadgaran-dominated Majlis has further raised its influence and profile under the presidency of Mr Ahmadinejad.


Submitted by Admin on Wed, 02/06/2008 - 7:55pm.