CONSTITUTION OF IRAN, 1979
24 th October, 1979
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran advances the cultural, social, political, and economic institutions of Iranian society based on Islamic principles and norms, which represent an honest aspiration of the Islamic Ummah. This aspiration was exemplified by the nature of the great Islamic Revolution of Iran, and by the course of the Muslim people's struggle, from its beginning until victory, as reflected in the decisive and forceful calls raised by all segments of the populations. Now, at the threshold of this great victory, our nation, with all its beings, seeks its fulfillment.
The basic characteristic of this revolution, which distinguishes it from other movements that have taken place in Iran during the past hundred years, is its ideological and Islamic nature. After experiencing the anti-despotic constitutional movement and the anti-colonialist movement centered on the nationalization of the oil industry, the Muslim people of Iran learned from this costly experience that the obvious and fundamental reason for the failure of those movements was their lack of an ideological basis. Although the Islamic line of thought and the direction provided by militant religious leaders played an essential role in the recent movements, nonetheless, the struggles waged in the course of those movements quickly fell into stagnation due to departure from genuine Islamic positions. Thus it was that the awakened conscience of the nation, under the leadership of Imam Khumayni, came to perceive the necessity of pursuing a genuinely Islamic and ideological line in its struggles. And this time, the militant 'ulama' of the country, who had always been in the forefront of popular movements, together with the committed writers and intellectuals, found new impetus by following his leadership.
The Dawn of the Movement
The devastating protest of Imam Khumayni against the American conspiracy known as the "White Revolution," which was a step intended to stabilize the foundations of despotic rule and to reinforce the political, cultural, and economic dependence of Iran on world imperialism, brought into being a united movement of the people and, immediately afterwards, a momentous revolution of the Muslim nation in June 1963. Although this revolution was drowned in blood, in reality it heralded the beginning of the blossoming of a glorious and massive uprising, which confirmed the central role of Imam Khumayni as an Islamic leader. Despite his exile from Iran after his protest against the humiliating law of capitulation (which provided legal immunity for American advisers), the firm bond between the Imam and the people endured, and the Muslim nation, particularly committed intellectuals and militant 'ulama', continued their struggle in the face of banishment and imprisonment, torture and execution.
Throughout this time, the conscious and responsible segment of society was bringing enlightenment to the people from the strongholds of the mosques, centers of religious teaching, and universities. Drawing inspiration from the revolutionary and fertile teachings of Islam, they began the unrelenting yet fruitful struggle of raising the level of ideological awareness and revolutionary consciousness of the Muslim people. The despotic regime which had begun the suppression of the Islamic movement with barbaric attacks on the Faydiyyah Madrasah, Tehran University, and all other active centers of revolution, in an effort to evade the revolutionary anger of the people, resorted to the most savage and brutal measures. And in these circumstances, execution by firing squads, endurance of medieval tortures, and long terms of imprisonment were the price our Muslim nation had to pay to prove its firm resolve to continue the struggle. The Islamic Revolution of Iran was nurtured by the blood of hundreds of young men and women, infused with faith, who raised their cries of "Allahu Akbar" at daybreak in execution yards, or were gunned down by the enemy in streets and marketplaces. Meanwhile, the continuing declarations and messages of the Imam that were issued on various occasions, extended and deepened the consciousness and determination of the Muslim nation to the utmost.
The plan of the Islamic government as proposed by Imam Khumayni at the height of the period of repression and strangulation practiced by the despotic regime, produced a new specific, and streamline motive for the Muslim people, opening up before them the true path of Islamic ideological struggle, and giving greater intensity to the struggle of militant and committed Muslims both within the country and abroad.
The movement continued on this course until finally popular dissatisfaction and intense rage of the public caused by the constantly increasing repression at home, and the projection of the struggle at the international level after exposure of the regime by the 'ulama' and militant students, shook the foundations of the regime violently. The regime and its sponsors were compelled to decrease the intensity of repression and to "liberalize" the political atmosphere of the country. This, they imagined, would serve as a safety valve, which would prevent their eventual downfall. But the people, aroused, conscious, and resolute under the decisive and unfaltering leadership of the Imam, embarked on a triumphant, unified, comprehensive, and countrywide uprising.
The Wrath of the People
The publication of an outrageous article meant to malign the revered 'ulama' and in particular Imam Khumayni on 7 Jan 1978 by the ruling regime accelerated the revolutionary movement and caused an outburst of popular outrage across the country. The regime attempted to quiet the heat of the people's anger by drowning the protest and uprising in blood, but the bloodshed only quickened the pulse rate of the Revolution. The seventh-day and fortieth-day commemorations of the martyrs of the Revolution, like a series of steady heartbeats, gave greater vitality, intensity, vigor, and solidarity to this movement all over the country. In the course of this popular movement, the employees of all government establishments took an active part in the effort to overthrow the tyrannical regime by calling a general strike and participating in street demonstrations. The widespread solidarity of men and women of all segments of society and of all political and religious factions, played a clearly determining role in the struggle. Especially the women were actively and massively present in a most conspicuous manner at all stages of this great struggle. The common sight
of mothers with infants in their arms rushing towards the scene of battle and in front of the barrels of machine-guns indicated the essential and decisive role played by this major segment of society in the struggle.
The Price the Nation Paid
After slightly more than a year of continuous and unrelenting struggle, the sapling of the evolution, watered by the blood of more than 60,000 martyrs and 100,000 wounded and disabled, not to mention property damage, came to bear fruit amidst the cries of "Independence! Freedom! Islamic government!" This great movement, which attained victory through reliance upon faith, unity, and the decisiveness of its leadership at every critical and sensitive juncture, as well as the self-sacrificing spirit of the people, succeeded in upsetting all the calculations of imperialism and destroying all its connections and institutions, thereby opening a new chapter in the history of all-embracing popular revolutions of the world.
On 12 and 13 Feb 1979, the world witnessed the collapse of the monarchical regime. Domestic tyranny and foreign domination, both of which were based upon it, were shattered. This great success proved to be the vanguard of Islamic government — a long-cherished desire of the Muslim people — and brought with it the glad tidings of final victory.
Unanimously, the Iranian people declared their final and firm decision, in the referendum on the Islamic Republic, to bring about a new political system, that of the Islamic Republic. A majority of 98.2% of the people voted for this system. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, setting forth as it does the political, social, cultural, and economic institutions and their relations that are to exist in society, must now provide for the consolidation of the foundations of Islamic government, and propose the plan of a new system of government to be erected on the ruins of the previous order.
The Form of Government in Islam
In the view of Islam, government does not derive from the interests of a class, nor does it serve the domination of an individual or a group. Rather, it represents the fulfillment of the political ideal of a people who bear a common faith and common outlook, taking an organized form in order to initiate the process of intellectual and ideological evolution towards the final goal, i.e., movement towards Allah. Our nation, in the course of its revolutionary developments, has cleansed itself of the dust and impurities that accumulated during the past and purged itself of foreign ideological influences, returning to authentic intellectual standpoints and world-view of Islam. It now intends to establish an ideal and model society on the basis of Islamic norms. The mission of the Constitution is to realize the ideological objectives of the movement and to create conditions conducive to the development of man in accordance with the noble and universal values of Islam.
With due attention to the Islamic content of the Iranian Revolution, the Constitution provides the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the Revolution at home and abroad. In particular, in the development of international relations, the Constitution will strive with other Islamic and popular movements to prepare the way for the formation of a single world community (in accordance with the Koranic verse "This your community is a single community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me", and to assure the continuation of the struggle for the liberation of all deprived and oppressed peoples in the world.
With due attention to the essential character of this great movement, the Constitution guarantees the rejection of all forms of intellectual and social tyranny and economic monopoly, and aims at entrusting the destinies of the people to the people themselves in order to break completely with the system of oppression. (This is in accordance with the Koranic verse "He removes from them their burdens an the fetters that were upon them".
In creating, on the basis of ideological outlook, the political infrastructures and institutions that are the foundation of society, the righteous will assume the responsibility of governing and adMinistering the country (in accordance with the Koranic verse "Verily My righteous servants shall inherit the earth". Legislation setting forth regulations for the administration of society will revolve around the Koran and the Sunnah. Accordingly, the exercise of meticulous and earnest supervision by just, pious, and committed scholars of Islam is an absolute necessity. In addition, the aim of government is to foster the growth of man in such a way that he progresses towards the establishment of a Divine order (in accordance with the Koranic phrase "And toward God is the journeying"; and to create favorable conditions for the emergence and blossoming of man's innate capacities, so that the theomorphic dimensions of the human being are manifested (in accordance with the injunction of the Prophet (S) "Mould yourselves according to the Divine morality"); this goal cannot be attained without the active and broad participation of all segments of society in the process of social development.
With due attention to this goal, the Constitution provides the basis of such participation by all members of society at all stages of the political decision-making process on which the destiny of the country depends. In this way during the course of human development towards perfection, each individual will himself be involved in, and responsible for the growth, advancement, and leadership of society. Precisely in this lies the realization of the holy government upon earth (in accordance with the Koranic verse "And we wish to show favor to those who have been oppressed upon earth, and to make them leaders and the inheritors." .
The Principles of Governance of the Just Holy Person In keeping with the principles of governance and the perpetual necessity of leadership, the Constitution provides for the establishment of leadership by a holy person possessing the necessary qualifications and recognized as leader by the people (this is in accordance with the saying "The direction of affairs is in the hands of those who are learned concerning God and are trustworthy in matters pertaining to what He permits and forbids"). Such leadership will prevent any deviation by the various organs of State from their essential Islamic duties.
The Economy is a Means, Not an End
In strengthening the foundations of the economy, the fundamental consideration will be fulfillment of the material needs of man in the course of his overall growth and development. This principle contrasts with other economic systems, where the aim is concentration and accumulation of wealth and maximization of profit. In materialist schools of thought, the economy represents an end in itself, so that it comes to be a subversive and corrupting factor in the course of man's development. In Islam, the economy is a means, and all that is required of a means is that it should be an efficient factor contributing to the attainment of the ultimate goal.
From this viewpoint, the economic program of Islam consists of providing the means needed for the emergence of the various creative capacities of the human being. Accordingly, it is the duty of the Islamic government to furnish all citizens with equal and appropriate opportunities, to provide them with work, and to satisfy their essential needs, so that the course of their progress may be assured.
Woman in the Constitution
Through the creation of Islamic social infrastructures, all the elements of humanity that served the multifaceted foreign exploitation shall regain their true identity and human rights. As a part of this process, it is only natural that women should benefit from a particularly large augmentation of their rights, because of the greater oppression that they suffered under the old regime.
The family is the fundamental unit of society and the main center for the growth and edification of human being. Compatibility with respect to belief and ideal, which provides the primary basis for man's development and growth, is the main consideration in the establishment of a family. It is the duty of the Islamic government to provide the necessary facilities for the attainment of this goal. This view of the family unit delivers woman from being regarded as an object or instrument in the service of promoting consumerism and exploitation. Not only does woman recover thereby her momentous and precious function of motherhood, rearing of ideologically committed human beings, she also assumes a pioneering social role and becomes the fellow struggler of man in all vital areas of life. Given the weighty responsibilities that woman thus assumes, she is accorded in Islam great value and nobility.
An Ideological Army
In the formation and equipping of the country's defence forces, due attention must be paid to faith and ideology as the basic criteria. Accordingly, the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are to be organized in conformity with this goal, and they will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God's way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God's law throughout the world (this is in accordance with the Koranic verse "Prepare against them whatever force you are able to muster, and strings of horses, striking fear into the enemy of God and your enemy, and others besides them" [8:60]).
The Judiciary in the Constitution
The judiciary is of vital importance in the context of safeguarding the rights of the people in accordance with the line followed by the Islamic movement, and the prevention of deviations within the Islamic nation. Provision has therefore been made for the creation of a judicial system based on Islamic justice and operated by just judges with meticulous knowledge of the Islamic laws. This system, because of its essentially sensitive nature and the need for full ideological conformity, must be free from every kind of unhealthy relation and connection (this is in accordance with the Koranic verse "When you judge among the people, judge with justice"
Considering the particular importance of the executive power in implementing the laws and ordinances of Islam for the sake of establishing the rule of just relations over society, and considering, too, its vital role in paving the way for the attainment of the ultimate goal of life, the executive power must work toward the creation of an Islamic society. Consequently, the confinement of the executive power within any kind of complex and inhibiting system that delays or impedes the attainment of this goal is rejected by Islam. Therefore, the system of bureaucracy, the result and product of old forms of government, will be firmly cast away, so that an executive system that functions efficiently and swiftly in the fulfillment of its administrative commitments comes into existence.
The mass-communication media, radio and television, must serve the diffusion of Islamic culture in pursuit of the evolutionary course of the Islamic Revolution. To this end, the media should be used as a forum for healthy encounter of different ideas, but they must strictly refrain from diffusion and propagation of destructive and anti-Islamic practices.
It is incumbent on all to adhere to the principles of this Constitution, for it regards as its highest aim the freedom and dignity of the human race and provides for the growth and development of the human being. It is also necessary that the Muslim people should participate actively in the construction of Islamic society by selecting competent and believing officials and keeping close and constant watch on their performance. They may then hope for success in building an ideal Islamic society that can be a model for all people of the world and a witness to its perfection (in accordance with the Koranic verse "Thus We made you a median community, that you might be witnesses to men"
The Assembly of Experts, composed of representatives of the people, completed its task of framing the Constitution, on the basis of the draft proposed by the government as well as all the proposals received from different groups of the people, in one hundred and seventy-five articles arranged in twelve chapters, in 1979, and in accordance with the aims and aspirations set out above, with the hope that this century will witness the establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others.
The form of government of Iran is that of an Islamic Republic, endorsed by the people of Iran on the basis of their longstanding belief in the sovereignty of truth and Koranic justice, in the referendum of 29 and 30 March 1979, through the affirmative vote of a majority of 98.2% of eligible voters, held after the victorious Islamic Revolution led by Imam Khumayni.
Article 2 [Foundational Principles]
The Islamic Republic is a system based on belief in:
1) The One God (as stated in the phrase "There is no god except Allah"), His exclusive sovereignty and right to legislate, and the necessity of submission to His commands;
2) Divine revelation and its fundamental role in setting forth the laws;
3) The return to God in the Hereafter, and the constructive role of this belief in the course of man's ascent towards God;
4) The justice of God in creation and legislation;
5) Continuous leadership and perpetual guidance, and its fundamental role in ensuring the uninterrupted process of the revolution of Islam;
6) The exalted dignity and value of man, and his freedom coupled with responsibility before God; in which equity, justice, political, economic, social, and cultural independence, and national solidarity are secured by recourse to:
a) Continuous leadership of the holy persons, possessing necessary qualifications, exercised on the basis of the Koran and the Sunnah, upon all of whom be peace;
b) Sciences and arts and the most advanced results of human experience, together with the effort to advance them further;
c) Negation of all forms of oppression, both the infliction of and the submission to it, and of dominance, both its imposition and its acceptance.
Article 3 [State Goals]
In order to attain the objectives specified in Article 2, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has the duty of directing all its resources to the following goals:
1) The creation of a favorable environment for the growth of moral virtues based on faith and piety and the struggle against all forms of vice and corruption;
2) Raising the level of public awareness in all areas, through the proper use of the press, mass media, and other means;
3) Free education and physical training for everyone at all levels, and the facilitation and expansion of higher education;
4) Strengthening the spirit of inquiry, investigation, and innovation in all areas of science, technology, and culture, as well as Islamic studies, by establishing research centers and encouraging researchers;
5) The complete elimination of imperialism and the prevention of foreign influence;
6) The elimination of all forms of despotism and autocracy and all attempts to monopolize power;
7) Ensuring political and social freedoms within the framework of the law;
8) The participation of the entire people in determining their political, economic, social, and cultural destiny;
9) The abolition of all forms of undesirable discrimination and the provision of equitable opportunities for all, in both the material and the intellectual spheres;
10) The creation of a correct administrative system and elimination of superfluous government organizations;
11) All round strengthening of the foundations of national defence to the utmost degree by means of universal military training for the sake of safeguarding the independence, territorial integrity, and the Islamic order of the country;
12) The planning of a correct and just economic system, in accordance with Islamic criteria, in order to create welfare, eliminate poverty, and abolish all forms of deprivation with respect to food, housing, work, health care, and the provision of social insurance for all;
13) The attainment of self-sufficiency in scientific, technological, industrial, agricultural, and military domains, and other similar spheres;
14) Securing the multifarious rights of all citizens, both women and men, and providing legal protection for all, as well as the equality of all before the law;
15) The expansion and strengthening of Islamic brotherhood and public cooperation among all the people;
16) Framing the foreign policy of the country on the basis of Islamic criteria, fraternal commitment to all Muslims, and unsparing support to the freedom fighters of the world.
Article 4 [Islamic Principle]
All civil, penal financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and other laws and regulations must be based on Islamic criteria. This principle applies absolutely and generally
to all articles of the Constitution as well as to all other laws and regulations, and the wise persons of the Guardian Council are judges in this matter.
Article 5 [Office of Religious Leader]
During the occultation of the Wali al-'Asr (may God hasten his reappearance), the leadership of the Ummah devolve upon the just and pious person, who is fully aware of the circumstances of his age, courageous, resourceful, and possessed of administrative ability, will assume the responsibilities of this office in accordance with Article.
Article 6 [Administration of Affairs]
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the affairs of the country must be administered on the basis of public opinion expressed by the means of elections, including the election of the President, the representatives of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, and the members of councils, or by means of referenda in matters specified in other articles of this Constitution.
Article 7 [Consultative Bodies]
(1) In accordance with the command of the Koran contained in the verse "Their affairs are by consultations among them" and "Consult them in affairs" consultative bodies — such as the Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Provincial Councils, and the City, Region, District, and Village Councils and the likes of them — are the decision-making and administrative organs of the country.
(2) The nature each of these councils, together with the manner of their formation, their jurisdiction, and scope of their duties and functions, is determined by the Constitution and laws derived from it.
Article 8 [Community Principle]
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, "al-'amr bilma'ruf wa al-nahy 'an al-munkar" is a universal and reciprocal duty that must be fulfilled by the people with respect to one another, by the government with respect to the people, and by the people with respect to the government. The conditions, limits, and nature of this duty will be specified by law. (This is in accordance with the Koranic verse "The believers, men and women, are guardians of one another; they enjoin the good and forbid the evil."
Article 9 [Independence Principle]
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the freedom, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of the country are inseparable from one another, and their preservation is the duty of the government and all individual citizens. No individual, group, or authority, has the right to infringe in the slightest way upon the political, cultural, economic, and military independence or the territorial integrity of Iran under the pretext of exercising freedom. Similarly, no authority has the right to abrogate legitimate freedoms, not even by enacting laws and regulations for that purpose, under the pretext of preserving the independence and territorial integrity of the country.
Article 10 [Family Principle]
Since the family is the fundamental unit of Islamic society, all laws, regulations, and pertinent programs must tend to facilitate the formation of a family, and to safeguard its sanctity and the stability of family relations on the basis of the law and the ethics of Islam.
Article 11 [Unity of Islam Principle]
In accordance with the sacred verse of the Koran "This your community is a single community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me" [21:92], all Muslims form a single nation, and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran have the duty of formulating its general policies with a view to cultivating the friendship and unity of all Muslim peoples, and it must constantly strive to bring about the political, economic, and cultural unity of the Islamic world.
Article 12 [Official Religion]
The official religion of Iran is Islam and the Twelver Ja'fari school, and this principle will remain eternally immutable. Other Islamic schools are to be accorded full respect, and their followers are free to act in accordance with their own jurisprudence in performing their religious rites. These schools enjoy official status in matters pertaining to religious education, affairs of personal status (marriage, divorce, inheritance, and wills) and related litigation in courts of law. In regions of the country where Muslims following any one of these schools constitute the majority, local regulations, within the bounds of the jurisdiction of local councils, are to be in accordance with the respective school, without infringing upon the rights of the followers of other schools.
Article 13 [Recognized Religious Minorities]
Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians are the only recognized religious minorities, who, within the limits of the law, are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education.
Article 14 [Non-Muslims’ Rights]
In accordance with the sacred verse "God does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with those who have not fought against you because of your religion and who have not expelled you from your homes" , the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and all Muslims are duty-bound to treat non-Muslims in conformity with ethical norms and the principles of Islamic justice and equity, and to respect their human rights. This principle applies to all who refrain from engaging in conspiracy or activity against Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Official Language, Script, Calendar, and Flag of the Country
The Official Language and script of Iran, the lingua franca of its people, is Persian. Official documents, correspondence, and texts, as well as text-books, must be in this language and script. However, 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 Persian.
Article 16 [Arabic Language]
Since the language of the Koran and Islamic texts and teachings is Arabic, and since Persian literature is thoroughly permeated by this language, it must be taught after elementary level, in all classes of secondary school and in all areas of study.
Article 17 [Official Calendar]
The Official Calendar of the country takes as its point of departure the migration of the Prophet of Islam — God's peace and blessings upon him and his Family. Both the solar and lunar Islamic calendars are recognized, but government offices will function according to the solar calendar. The official weekly holiday is Friday.
Article 18 [Official Flag]
The Official Flag of Iran is composed of green, white, and red colors, with the special emblem of the Islamic Republic, together with the State Motto.
The Rights of the People
All people of Iran, whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they belong, enjoy equal rights; color, race, language, and the like, do not bestow any privilege.
Article 20 [Equality Before Law]
All citizens of the country, both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria.
Article 21 [Women’s Rights]
The government must ensure the rights of women in all respects, in conformity with Islamic criteria, and accomplish the following goals:
1) Create a favorable environment for the growth of woman's personality and the restoration of her rights, both the material and intellectual;
2) The protection of mothers, particularly during pregnancy and child-rearing, and the protection of children without guardians;
3) Establishing competent courts to protect and preserve the family;
4) The provision of special insurance for widows, aged women, and women without support;
5) The awarding of guardianship of children to worthy mothers, in order to protect the interests of the children, in the absence of a legal guardian.
Article 22 [Human Dignity and Rights]
The dignity, life, property, rights, residence, and occupation of the individual are inviolate, except in cases sanctioned by law.
Article 23 [Freedom of Belief]
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 [Freedom of the Press]
Publications and the press have freedom of expression except when it is detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam or the rights of the public. The details of this exception will be specified by law.
Article 25 [Secrecy of Communication]
The inspection of letters and the failure to deliver them, the recording and disclosure of telephone conversations, the disclosure of telegraphic and telex communications, censorship, or the wilful failure to transmit them, eavesdropping, and all forms of covert investigation are forbidden, except as provided by law.
Article 26 [Freedom of Association]
The formation of parties, societies, political or professional associations, as well as religious societies, whether Islamic or pertaining to one of the recognized religious minorities, is permitted provided they do not violate the principles of independence, freedom, national unity, the criteria of Islam, or the basis of the Islamic Republic. No one may be prevented from participating in the aforementioned groups, or be compelled to participate in them.
Article 27 [Freedom of Assembly]
Public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided arms are not carried and that they are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam.
Article 28 [Work]
(1) Everyone has the right to choose any occupation he wishes, if it is not contrary to Islam and the public interests, and does not infringe the rights of others.
(2) The government has the duty, with due consideration of the need of society for different kinds of work, to provide every citizen with the opportunity to work, and to create equal conditions for obtaining it.
Article 29 [Welfare Rights]
(1) To benefit from social security with respect to retirement, unemployment, old age, disability, absence of a guardian, and benefits relating to being stranded, accidents, health services, and medical care and treatment, provided through insurance or other means, is accepted as a universal right.
(2) The government must provide the foregoing services and financial support for every individual citizen by drawing, in accordance with the law, on the national revenues and funds obtained through public contributions.
Article 30 [Education]
The government must provide all citizen with free education up to secondary school, and must expand free higher education to the extent required by the country for attaining self-sufficiency.
Article 31 [Housing]
It is the right of every Iranian individual and family to possess housing commensurate with his needs. The government must make land available for the implementation of this article, according priority to those whose need is greatest, in particular the rural population and the workers.
Article 32 [Arrest]
No one may be arrested except by the order and in accordance with the procedure laid down by law. In case of arrest, charges with the reasons for accusation must, without delay, be communicated and explained to the accused in writing, and a provisional dossier must be forwarded to the competent judicial authorities within a maximum of twenty-four hours so that the preliminaries to the trial can be completed as swiftly as possible. The violation of this article will be liable to punishment in accordance with the law.
Article 33 [Residence]
No one can be banished from his place of residence, prevented from residing in the place of his choice, or compelled to reside in a given locality, except in cases provided by law.
Article 34 [Recourse to the Courts]
It is the indisputable right of every citizen to seek justice by recourse to competent courts. All citizens have right of access to such courts, and no one can be barred from courts to which he has a legal right of recourse.
Article 35 [Right to Counsel]
Both parties to a lawsuit have the right in all courts of law to select an attorney, and if they are unable to do so, arrangements must be made to provide them with legal counsel.
Article 36 [Sentencing]
The passing and execution of a sentence must be only by a competent court and in accordance with law.
Article 37 [Presumption of Innocense]
Innocence is to be presumed, and no one is to be held guilty of a charge unless his or her guilt has been established by a competent court.
Article 38 [Torture]
All forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confession or acquiring information are forbidden. Compulsion of individuals to testify, confess, or take an oath is not permissible; and any testimony, confession, or oath obtained under duress is devoid of value and credence. Violation of this article is liable to punishment in accordance with the law.
Article 39 [Dignity of Arrested]
All affronts to the dignity and repute of persons arrested, detained, imprisoned, or banished in accordance with the law, whatever form they may take, are forbidden and liable to punishment.
Article 40 [Public Interest]
Article 41 [Citizenship]
Iranian citizenship is the indisputable right of every Iranian, and the government cannot withdraw citizenship from any Iranian unless he himself requests it or acquires the citizenship of another country.
Article 42 [Nationalization]
Foreign nationals may acquire Iranian citizenship within the framework of the laws. Citizenship may be withdrawn from such persons if another State accepts them as its citizens or if they request it.
Economy and Financial Affairs
The economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its objectives of achieving the economic independence of the society, uprooting poverty and deprivation, and fulfilling human needs in the process of development while preserving human liberty, is based on the following criteria:
1. The provision of basic necessities for all citizens: housing, food, clothing, hygiene, medical treatment, education, and the necessary facilities for the establishment of a family;
2. Ensuring conditions and opportunities of employment for everyone, with a view to attaining full employment; placing the means of work at the disposal of everyone who is able to work but lacks the means, in the form of cooperatives, through granting interest-free loans or recourse to any other legitimate means that neither results in the concentration or circulation of wealth in the hands of a few individuals or groups, nor turns the government into a major absolute employer. These steps must be taken with due regard for the requirements governing the general economic planning of the country at each stage of its growth;
3. The plan for the national economy must be structured in such a manner that the form, content, and hours of work of every individual will allow him sufficient leisure and energy to engage, beyond his professional endeavor, in intellectual, political, and social activities leading to all-round development of his self, to take active part in leading the affairs of the country, improve his skills, and to make full use of his creativity;
4. Respect for the right to choose freely an occupation; refraining from compelling anyone to engage in a particular job; and preventing the exploitation of another's labor;
5. The prohibition of infliction of harm and loss upon others, monopoly, hoarding, usury, and other illegitimate and evil practices;
6. The prohibition of extravagance and wastefulness in all matters related to the economy, including consumption, investment, production, distribution, and services;
7. The utilization of and the training of skilled personnel in accordance with the developmental needs of the country's economy;
8. Prevention of foreign economic domination over the country's economy:
9. Emphasis on increase of agricultural, livestock, and industrial production in order to satisfy public needs and to make the country self-sufficient and free from dependence.
Article 44 [Sectors]
(1) The economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to consist of three sectors: state, cooperative, and private, and is to be based on systematic and sound planning.
(2) The state sector is to include 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; all these will be publicly owned and adMinistered by the State.
(3) The cooperative sector is to include cooperative companies and enterprises concerned with production and distribution, in urban and rural areas, in accordance with Islamic criteria.
(4) The private sector consists of those activities concerned with agriculture, animal husbandry, industry, trade, and services that supplement the economic activities of the state and cooperative sectors.
(5) Ownership in each of these three sectors is protected by the laws of the Islamic Republic, in so far as this ownership is in conformity with the other articles of this chapter, does not go beyond the bounds of Islamic law, contributes to the economic growth and progress of the country and does not harm society.
(6) The scope of each of these sectors as well as the regulations and conditions governing their operation, will be specified by law.
Article 45 [Public Wealth]
Public wealth and property, such as uncultivated or abandoned land, mineral deposits, seas, lakes, rivers and other public waterways, mountains, valleys, forests, marshlands, natural forests, unenclosed pastures, legacies without heirs, property of undetermined ownership, and public property recovered from usurpers, shall be at the disposal of the Islamic government for it to utilize in accordance with the public interest. Law will specify detailed procedures for the utilization of each of the foregoing items.
Article 46 [Fruits of Business]
Everyone is the owner of the fruits of his legitimate business and labor, and no one may deprive another of the opportunity of business and work under the pretext of his right to ownership.
Article 47 [Private Property]
Private ownership, legitimately acquired, is to be respected. The relevant criteria are determined by law.
Article 48 [Resources for Regions]
There must be no discrimination among the various provinces with regard to the exploitation of natural resources, utilization of public revenues, and distribution of economic activities among the various provinces and regions of the country, thereby ensuring that every region has access to the necessary capital and facilities in accordance with its needs and capacity for growth.
Article 49 [Confiscation]
The government has the responsibility of confiscating all wealth accumulated through usury, usurpation, bribery, embezzlement, theft, gambling, misuse of endowments, misuse of government contracts and transactions, the sale of uncultivated lands and other resources subject to public ownership, the operation of centers of corruption, and other illicit means and sources, and restoring it to its legitimate owner; and if no such owner can be identified, it must be entrusted to the public treasury. This rule must be executed by the government with due care, after investigation and furnishing necessary evidence in accordance with the law of Islam.
Article 50 [Preservation of the Environment]
The preservation of the environment, in which the present as well as the future generations have a right to flourishing social existence, is regarded as a public duty in the Islamic Republic. Economic and other activities that inevitably involve pollution of the environment or cause irreparable damage to it are therefore forbidden.
Article 51 [Taxation]
No form of taxation may be imposed except in accordance with the law. Provisions for tax exemption and reduction will be determined by law.
Article 52 [Budget]
The annual budget of the country will be drawn up by the government in the manner specified by law and submitted to the Islamic Consultative Assembly for discussion and approval. Any change in the figures contained in the budget will be in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.
Article 53 [Central Treasury]
All sums collected by the government will be deposited into the government accounts at the central treasury, and all disbursements, within the limits of allocations approved, shall be made in accordance with law.
Article 54 [Acounting Agency]
The National Accounting Agency is to be directly under the supervision of the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Its organization and mode of operation in Tehran and at the provincial capitals are to be determined by law.
Article 55 [Auditing, Report]
The National Accounting Agency will inspect and audit, in the manner prescribed by law, all the accounts of ministries, government institutions, and companies as well as other organizations that draw, in any way, on the general budget of the country, to ensure that no expenditure exceeds the allocations approved and that all sums are spent for the specified purpose. It will collect all relevant accounts, documents, and records, in accordance with law, and submit to the Islamic Consultative Assembly a report for the settlement of each year's budget together with its own comments. This report must be made available to the public.
The Right of National Sovereignty
Absolute sovereignty over the world and man belongs to God, and it is He Who has made man master of his own social destiny. No one can deprive man of this divine right, nor subordinate it to the vested interests of a particular individual or group. The people are to exercise this divine right in the manner specified in the following articles.
Article 57 [Separation of Powers]
The powers of government in the Islamic Republic are vested in the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive powers, functioning under the supervision of the absolute religious Leader and the Leadership of the Ummah, in accordance with the forthcoming articles of this Constitution. These powers are independent of each other.
Article 58 [Legislature]
The functions of the legislature are to be exercised through the Islamic Consultative Assembly, consisting of the elected representatives of the people. Legislation approved by this body, after going through the stages specified in the articles below, is communicated to the executive and the judiciary for implementation.
Article 59 [Mandatory Referendum]
In extremely important economic, political, social, and cultural matters, the functions of the legislature may be exercised through direct recourse to popular vote through a referendum. Any request for such direct recourse to public opinion must be approved by two-thirds of the members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 60 [Executive]
The functions of the executive, except in the matters that are directly placed under the jurisdiction of the Leadership by the Constitution, are to be exercised by the President and the Ministers.
Article 61 [Judiciary]
The functions of the judiciary are to be performed by courts of justice, which are to be formed in accordance with the criteria of Islam, and are vested with the authority to examine and settle lawsuits, protect the rights of the public, dispense and enact justice, and implement the Divine limits.
The Legislative Powers
(1) The Islamic Consultative Assembly is constituted by the representatives of the people elected directly and by secret ballot.
(2) The qualifications of voters and candidates, as well as the nature of election, will be specified by law.
Article 63 [Term]
The term of membership in the Islamic Consultative Assembly is four years. Elections for each term must take place before the end of the preceding term, so that the country is never without an Assembly.
Article 64 [270 Members, Religious Representatives]
(1) There are to be two hundred seventy members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly which, keeping in view the human, political, geographic, and other similar factors, may increase by not more than twenty for each ten-year period from the date of the national referendum of the year 1368 of the solar Islamic calendar.
(2) The Zoroastrians and Jews will each elect one representative; Assyrian and Chaldean Christians will jointly elect one representative; and Armenian Christians in the north and those in the south of the country will each elect one representative.
(3) The delimitation of the election constituencies and the number of representatives will be determined by law.
Article 65 [Quorum, Code of Procedure]
(1) After the holding of elections, sessions of the Islamic Consultative Assembly are considered legally valid when two-thirds of the total number of members are present. Drafts and bills will be approved in accordance with the code of procedure approved by it, except in cases where the Constitution has specified a certain quorum.
(2) The consent of two-thirds of all members present is necessary for the approval of the code of procedure of the Assembly.
Article 66 [Rules of Procedure]
The manner of election of the Speaker and the Presiding Board of the Assembly, the number of committees and their term of office, and matters related to conducting the discussions and maintaining the discipline of the assembly will be determined by the code of procedure of the Assembly.
Article 67 [Oath]
(1) Members of the Assembly must take the following oath at the first session of the Assembly and affix their signatures to its text:
"In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. In the presence of the Glorious Koran, I swear by God, the Exalted and Almighty, and undertake, swearing by my own honor as a human being, to protect the sanctity of Islam and guard the accomplishments of the Islamic Revolution of the Iranian people and the foundations of the Islamic Republic; to protect, as a just trustee, the honor bestowed upon me by the people, to observe piety in fulfilling my duties as people's representative; to remain always committed to the independence and honor of the country; to fulfil my duties towards the nation and the service of the people; to defend the Constitution; and to bear in mind, boath in speech and writing and in the expression of my views, the independence of the country, the freedom of the people, and the security of their interests."
(2) Members belonging to the religious minorities will swear by their own sacred books while taking this oath.
(3) Members not attending the first session will perform the ceremony of taking the oath at the first session they attend.
Article 68 [Suspended Elections During Wartime]
In time of war and the military occupation of the country, elections due to be held in occupied areas or countrywide may be suspended for a specified period if proposed by the President of the Republic, and approved by three-fourths of the total members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, with the endorsement of the Guardian Council. If a new Assembly is not formed, the previous one will continue to function.
Article 69 [Publicity, Closed Sessions]
The deliberations of the Islamic Consultative Assembly must be open and full minutes of them made available to the public by the radio and the official gazette. A closed session may be held in emergency conditions, if it is required for national security, upon the requisition of the President, one of the Ministers, or ten members of the Assembly. Legislation passed at a closed session is valid only when approved by three-fourths of the members in the presence of the Guardian Council. After emergency conditions have ceased to exist, the minutes of such closed sessions, together with any legislation approved in them, must be made available to the public.
Article 70 [Government Attendance]
The President, his deputies and the Ministers have the right to participate in the open sessions of the Assembly either collectively or individually. They may also have their advisers accompany them. If the members of the Assembly deem it necessary, the Ministers are obliged to attend. Whenever they request it, their statements are to be heard.
Section 2 Powers and Authority of the Islamic Consultative Assembly
The Islamic Consultative Assembly can establish laws on all matters, within the limits of its competence as laid down in the Constitution.
Article 72 [Limits]
The Islamic Consultative Assembly cannot enact laws contrary to the official religion of the country or to the Constitution. It is the duty of the Guardian Council to determine whether a violation has occurred, in accordance with Article96.
Article 73 [Interpretation of Laws]
The interpretation of ordinary laws falls within the competence of the Islamic Consultative Assembly. The intent of this article does not prevent the interpretations that judges may make in the course of cassation.
Article 74 [Bills]
Government bills are presented to the Islamic Consultative Assembly after receiving the approval of the Council of Ministers. Members' bills may be introduced in the Islamic Consultative Assembly if sponsored by at least fifteen members.
Article 75 [Spending Bills]
Members' bills and proposals and amendments to government bills proposed by members that entail the reduction of the public income or the increase of public expenditure may be introduced in the Assembly only if means for compensating for the decrease in income or for meeting the new expenditure are also specified.
Article 76 [Investigation]
The Islamic Consultative Assembly has the right to investigate and examine all the affairs of the country.
Article 77 [Treaties]
International treaties, protocols, contracts, and agreements must be approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 78 [Boundary Laws]
All changes in the boundaries of the country are forbidden, with the exception of minor amendments in keeping with the interests of the country, on condition that they are not unilateral, do not encroach on the independence and territorial integrity of the country, and receive the approval of four-fifths of the total members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 79 [Martial Law, Temporary Restrictions]
The proclamation of martial law is forbidden. In case of war or emergency conditions comparable to war, the government has the right to impose temporarily certain necessary restrictions, with the agreement of the Islamic Consultative Assembly. In no case can such restrictions last for more than thirty days; if the need for them persists beyond this limit, the government must obtain new authorization for them from the Assembly.
Article 80 [Aid]
The taking and giving of governmental loans or grants-in-aid, domestic and foreign, must be approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 81 [Foreign Business]
The granting of concessions to foreigners or the formation of companies or institutions dealing with commerce, industry, agriculture, service, or mineral extraction, is absolutely forbidden.
Article 82 [Foreign Experts]
The employment of foreign experts is forbidden, except in cases of necessity and with the approval of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 83 [Property of National Heritage]
Government buildings and properties forming part of the national heritage cannot be transferred except with the approval of the Islamic Consultative Assembly; that, too, is not applicable in the case of irreplaceable treasures.
Article 84 [Responsibility]
Every representative is responsible to the entire nation and has the right to express his views on all internal and external affairs of the country.
Article 85 [Delegated Legislation]
(1) The right of membership is vested with the individual, and is not transferable to others. The Assembly cannot delegate the power of legislation to an individual or committee. But whenever necessary, it can delegate the power of legislating certain laws to its own committees, in accordance with Article72. In such a case, the laws will be implemented on a tentative basis for a period specified by the Assembly, and their final approval will rest with the Assembly.
(2) Likewise, the Assembly may, in accordance with Article 72, delegate to the relevant committees the responsibility for permanent approval of articles of association of organizations, companies, government institutions, or organizations affiliated to the government and or invest the authority in the government. In such a case, the government approvals must not be inconsistent with the principles and commandments of the official religion in the country or with the Constitution, which question shall be determined by the Guardian Council in accordance with what is stated in Article 96. In addition to this, the Government approvals shall not be against the laws and other general rules of the country and, while calling for implementation, the same shall be brought to the knowledge of the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly for his study and indication that the approvals in question are not inconsistent with the aforesaid rules.
Article 86 [Independence, Indemnity]
Members of the Assembly are completely free in expressing their views and casting their votes in the course of performing their duties as representatives, and they cannot be prosecuted or arrested for opinions expressed in the Assembly or votes cast in the course of performing their duties as representatives.
Article 87 [Vote of Confidence]
The President must obtain, for the Council of Ministers, after being formed and before all other business, a vote of confidence from the Assembly. During his incumbency, he can also seek a vote of confidence for the Council of Ministers from the Assembly on important and controversial issues.
Article 88 [Questioning Government]
Whenever at least one-fourth of the total members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly pose a question to the President, or any one member of the Assembly poses a question to a Minister on a subject relating to their duties, the President or the Minister is obliged to attend the Assembly and answer the question. This answer must not be delayed more than one month in the case of the President and ten days in the case of the Minister, except with an excuse deemed reasonable by the Islamic Consultative Assembly.