News / Middle East

How Iran's Government Works

Iran's system of government, known as the Islamic Republic, is an autocratic council/committee based system, in which councils and committees made up of religious elders, overseen by a council chosen by the Supreme Leader, give advice, counsel, and overall direction to the traditional branches of government and various government functions.

The graphic is explained in greater detail below.

Supreme Leader

  • Selected by Assembly of Experts for a life term
  • Sets Iran's domestic and foreign policies (including nuclear program)
  • Commands Iran's armed forces (including Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps), appoints/fires top military officials, declares war and peace
  • Makes final decision about eligible presidential candidates, election results and cabinet posts of defense, foreign affairs, information, culture/Islamic guidance
  • Appoints/fires heads of judiciary and state broadcasting

  • Guardian Council

  • Comprises 12 members who serve 6 year terms: 6 must be clerics, 6 must be jurists
  • Supreme Leader appoints 6 members, parliament appoints 6 members
  • Approves/rejects legislation passed by parliament
  • Approves/rejects candidates for president, parliament and elections

  • Parliament

  • Proposes, passes legislation for approval by Guardian Council
  • Consists of 290 members; membership to be increased to 310 for March 2012 election
  • Main coalitions include conservatives and reformists
  • May choose to impeach president
  • Approves/fires Cabinet ministers through confidence votes
  • Approves 6 out of 12 guardian council members recommended by Supreme Leader
  • Approves budget submitted by president

  • Assembly of Experts

  • Comprises 86 Islamic scholars elected by the public, screened for piety by Guardian Council
  • Selects Supreme Leader
  • Members serve 8-year terms; meet once every six months to review Supreme Leader's activities
  • In theory, can remove Supreme Leader in cases of incapacitation or corruption, though this is very unlikely

  • Expediency Council

  • Advises Supreme Leader on policy, seeks to resolve deadlocks between lawmakers and Guardian Council
  • Chaired by former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
  • Comprises 35 members: 9 permanent, 26 ad hoc appointed by Supreme Leader
  • Permanent members include president, judiciary chief, speaker of parliament, and six clerical members of Guardian Council

  • President

  • Presidential candidates are vetted through councils, but ultimately the Supreme Leader will choose the final two candidates
  • Performs administrative role, rather than executive role as in other countries
  • Selects cabinet members, implements policies set by Supreme Leader and laws approved by parliament
  • Serves 4-year term, limited to two consecutive terms
  • If re-elected, can run for a third term after sitting one out
  • Proposes budget

  • Cabinet

  • Led by president
  • Assists president in implementing policies set by Supreme Leader and laws passed by parliament
  • Ministers appointed after winning approval in parliamentary confidence votes

  • National Security Council

  • Led by president
  • Implements national security policies set by Supreme Leader
  • Sets broad definitions of national security offenses

  • Cultural Revolution Council

  • Led by president
  • Sets Islamic principles for all educational organizations
  • Sets Islamic rules for permissible Internet content and printed materials

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid