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Islamic Republic of Iran - Constitution

Adopted on: 24 Oct 1979 (Document Status: 1992)

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 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" [60:8], 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.
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 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 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 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. 
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 Article 96. 
Article 85 [Delegated Legislation] 
(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 107 [Religious Leader] 
(1) After the demise of Imam Khumayni, the task of appointing the Leader shall be vested with the experts elected by the people. The experts will review and consult among themselves concerning all the religious men possessing the qualifications specified in Articles 5 and 109. In the event they find one of them better versed in Islamic regulations or in political and social issues, or possessing general popularity or special prominence for any of the qualifications mentioned in Article 109, they shall elect him as the Leader. Otherwise, in the absence of such a superiority, they shall elect and declare one of them as the Leader. The Leader thus elected by the Assembly of Experts shall assume all the powers of the religious leader and all the responsibilities arising therefrom.
Article 109 [Leadership Qualifications] 
(1) Following are the essential qualifications and conditions for the Leader: 
a. Scholarship, as required for performing the functions of religious leader in different fields. 
b. Justice and piety, as required for the leadership of the Islamic Ummah. 
c. Right political and social perspicacity, prudence, courage, administrative facilities, and adequate capability for leadership.
Article 115 [Qualifications] (President) 
The President must be elected from among religious and political personalities possessing the following qualifications: 
- Iranian origin; 
- Iranian nationality; 
- administrative capacity and resourcefulness; 
- a good pastrecord; 
- trustworthiness and piety; and 
- convinced belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official madhhab of the country.
Article 121 [Oath] 
The President must take the following oath and affix his signature to it at a session of the Islamic Consultative Assembly in the presence of the head of the judicial power and the members of the Guardian Council: 
"In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, I, as President, swear, in the presence of the noble members of parliament and the people of Iran, by God, the Exalted and Almighty, that I will guard the official religion of the country, the order of the Islamic Republic, and the Constitution of the country; that I will devote all my capacities and abilities to the fulfillment of the responsibilities that I have assumed; that I will dedicate myself to the service of the people, the honor of the country, the propagation of religion and morality, and the support of truth and justice, refraining from every kind of arbitrary behavior; that I will protect the freedom and dignity of all citizens and the rights that the Constitution has accorded the people; that in guarding the frontiers and the political, economic, and cultural independence of the country I will not avoid any necessary measure; that, seeking help from God and following the Prophet of Islam and the infallible Imams (peace be upon them), I will guard, as a pious and selfless trustee, the authority vested in me by the people as a sacred trust, and transfer it to whomever the people may elect after me."
Article 163 [Qualifications] (Judge) 
The conditions and qualifications to be fulfilled by a judge will be determined by law, in accordance with religious criteria.
Article 177 [Revision by Council and Referendum] 
(5) The contents of the articles of the Constitution related to the Islamic character of the political system; the basis of all the rules and regulations according to Islamic criteria; the religious footing; the objectives of the Islamic Republic of Iran; the democratic character of the government; the holy principle; the Imamate of Ummah; and the administration of the affairs of the country based on national referenda, official religion of Iran and the religious school are unalterable.
Note: Further information on the constitutional background of Iran is provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Wuerzburg. 
 


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