Key Institutions Iran

About 2000 years ago, Iran was the center of the power Persian Empire ruled by kings known as shahs.  In 1979 religious leaders overthrew the last monarchy. Iran is now an Islamic republic, a government run by Muslim religious leaders.  The government has introduced laws based on its understanding of the Quran. Many Western customs seen as a threat to Islam are forbidden here.

Jurist’s Guardianship Ayatollah Khomeini’s overarching principle of velayat-e-faqih all have encompassing authority over the whole community.
Supreme Leader Top of Iran’s government structure; imam of the whole community.
The Guardian Council Twelve male clerics. Six appointed by the supreme leader and the other six are nominated by the chief judge and approved by the Majles.
Assembly of Religious Experts 86-man house directly elected by the people every four years.
Expediency Council 32 man council; can originate its own legislation; appointed by the supreme leader
Majles Unicameral legislature; directly elected by the people.
Judiciary Must be a cleric; appointed by the supreme leader.

Questions to Consider:

  • Who holds the power in Iran?
  • In what ways is Iran democratic?

Review Questions

The ultimate legal authority in Iran is sharia law.
The Mjles and Assembly of Religious Experts are elected to office by direct popular vote.
Removing the president is a power held by the Majles.
The Expediency Council was first created by the Ayatollah Khomeini for the purpose of refereeing disputes between the Guardian Council and the Majles.

Ultimate legal authority in Iran rests in __________.

Click to reveal the answer.