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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid