Islamic Republic of Iran The Legislative (Source: Iran Year Book, 1996, updated 2011


The legislature comprises two powerful institutions: Parliament (Majlis) and the Guardian Council of the Constitution. Under the provisions of the constitution all legislation's must first be approved by the Majlis and then be ratified by the Guardian Council. They are signed into laws by the president. Two more legislative bodies were created in 1988 by Ayatollah Khomeini. These were the Council for Determination of Exigencies and the Council of Policy Making for Reconstruction The Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution has legislative powers on educational matters. INSTITUTIONS ADMINISTERED BY THE LEGISLATURE The Accounting Court is administered by the legislature and has the task of reviewing the earnings and spending of all organizations and institutions which receive appropriations from the budget. MAJLIS Majlis-e Shora-ye Islamic (Islamic Consultative Assembly), known as the Majlis for short, is the Iranian parliament. It has 290 members who are elected by the direct vote of the people for four years. The powers and functions of the Majlis are specified b y the constitution (Article 71-90). The first Majlis after the Islamic revolution was convened in 1980 and the second Majlis began its terms in 1984. The general election for the third Majlis was held in April 1988, and its terms started in May 1988. People went to the polls for the fourth Majlis in April 1992. The latest Majlis was elected in March (1st round) and April (run-off) 2008. A principal requirement for any members of parliament (MP) is his/her deep belief in Islam. However, the religious minorities recognized by the constitution, the Zoroastrians, the Jews and the Armenian and Assyrian Christians have their own representative s in the Majlis. The first two minorities have one MP each and the Armenians, larger in population, have two MPs for the south and north of Iran. The Assyrians have one MP. Majlis has a set of internal rules which sets forth the manner of steering its meetings, debating and voting on the bills and motions etc., and the tasks of its committees. According to the rules, the Majlis has a steering board comprising a speaker, two deputy speakers who run the meetings in his absence and a number of secretaries and provisions administrators. Under the provision of Article 69 of the constitution, the deliberations of the Majlis must be open, the full report of which is broadcast by the radio and then published verbatim by the Official Gazette. The president, or one of the ministers or 10 MPs m ay call for a closed meeting of the Majlis. The constitution, however, emphasizes that the resolutions of the closed meeting will only become law if they are passed by a majority of three-quarters of members of parliament (MPs) with Guardian Council members also attending. But ordinary meetings of the Majlis reach quorum by attendance of two-thirds of the MPs, and their resolutions normally become law by simple majority, unless otherwise required by law. MPs do not have judicial immunity except under Article 86 of the constitution. In May 1988, a motion effectively amounting to a sort of parliamentary immunity for the members was passed in the first reading. It provided for investigating offence committed by the members before and during membership by the courts concerned in Tehran. MPs should only be summoned or subpoenaed through the Majlis. Details of the bill were to be decided in the second reading. POWERS OF MAJLIS Majlis has the following powers: • a) debating the motions tabled by the government upon the cabinet's approval, as well as bills tabled by at least 15 MPs,

This committee decides if the replies have been satisfactory. 5) Plan and Budget. Should the committee find a minister's reply unsatisfactory thr ee times. 10) Judicial and Legal Affairs. 11) Defence and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. and Energy. casting vote of confidence or no confidence in the government or in any of the ministers. Early 1989 amendments to House rules allowed committees to have between nine and 15 members. which can have 15-31 members. 8) Labour and Social Affairs. and by a majority of four fifths of MPs. 2) Culture and Higher Education. 7) Industry and Mine. . 3) Islamic Guidance and Arts and Mass Media. f) Tabling a motion of no confidence in the prime minister or any of the ministers. The permanent committees are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1) Education. protocols. 15) Posts. Should the bill's generalities be passed in the first reading. 22) Questions Review Committee. Relief. it would then be forwarded to the committee(s) concerned for a review of its details. Social Security and Red Crescent. 16) Commerce and Distribution. PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES Majlis has several permanent committees with the task of carrying out the initial discussions about the bills and motions. 20) Revolution Institutions. Debating procedure begins with the first reading of a bill which has already been passed by the committee concerned and the text of which has been distributed to the MPs. select committees are formed as the need arises. 13) Internal Affairs & Councils. with the exception of the constitutional article 90 committee. 6) Oil. c) approving international treaties. 4) Economy and Finance. d) effecting minor changes in the border lines by taking into consideration the national interests. MPs will be able to table a motion of no confidence in the minister concerned. e) agreeing to the cabinet's request for proclamation of martial law for no more than 30 days. 19) Accounting Court and the House Budget and Finance. Moreover. agreements and contracts. 17) Agriculture and Rural Development. At this stage. 14) Health and Welfare. 18) Prime Ministry Affiliated Organizations. Urgent motions are debated under a different procedure as explained later. MPs may propose their related amendments. The bills are normally debated in turn. 21) Constitutional Article 90 Petitions Committee which has the task of investigating the complaints of the public against government organizations. LEGISLATION PROCEDURE A bill or a motion may be tabled with the Majlis in two ways: • • 1) the government may table it upon the cabinet's approval. The bill's details and the proposed amendments are discussed. which has the task of reviewing the questions of MPs to ministries and the latter's replies. 2) fifteen MPs may table a motion.• • • • • b) debating and inquiring into all the national affairs. The Steering Board of the Chamber is responsible for arranging the debating procedure. 9) Housing and Urban Development and Roads and Transport. Telegraphs and Telephones. 12) Foreign Policy. and Administrative and Employment Affairs. The committee concerned may also invite experts from outside the parliament to take part in its meetings. and either adopted or rejected.

HORMUZGAN 4 It may. half of its members. only BUSHEHR 3 the opinion of a majority of the six Islamic canonists of the council is valid. YAZD 3 but concerning their constitutionality the opinion of the majority of all members will hold. Some of th e bills cannot be tabled under urgency provisions. KOHKILUYEH&BUYER 2 The Guardian Council also has the duty of interpreting the constitutional AHMAD provisions. SEMNAN 4 Regarding the compatibility of the legislation with Islamic provisions. may put their proposal to the full House and call for votes. is KHORASSAN EAST AZERBAIJAN 24 in effect an upper house of parliament with the power to vote out the lower house's resolutions. or return them to the House for being amended. Only in the first KERMAN 10 term. ISFAHAN 18 compare them with the provisions of the Islamic canon and the constitution. Articles 91-99). if KERMANSHAHAN 8 the Guardian Council has not yet been formed. except for the purpose of LORESTAN 8 approving the credentials of the MPs and the election of six jurists to the CENTRAL 7 Guardian Council. as determined by lots. Six are clerical Islamic canonists and six MAZANDARAN 17 others are civilian jurists. or the Leadership Council. SEAT The constitution has provided for a constitutional council of sages known as TEHRAN 37 the Council of Guardians of the Constitution (Shora-ye Negahban-e Qanun25 e Assassi. FARS 17 The council has 12 members. and the second group is elected by the Majlis from GILAN 13 among candidates nominated by the Supreme Judicial Council. however. If the bill is pass ed in the second reading. Other duties of the council include supervision of the ILAM presidential elections. however. The first group of six is appointed by the leader. were changed 9 after three years. request more time if necessary. The leader is empowered to reinstate the Islamic canonist HAMEDAN ZANJAN 9 members of the council after their six-year term is over. Urgent. and its opinions in this regard are valid by a majority of three2 fourths of its members. Majlis Seats by Provinces THE GUARDIAN COUNCIL PROVINCE Motions and bills passed by the Majlis do not automatically become law. At this stage. it would be forwarded to the Guardian Council for ratification. one-star. SEESTAN-BALUCHESTAN 7 POWERS AND FACTIONS The Majlis is required to forward all its resolutions to the Guardian Council. WEST AZERBAIJAN 12 Members of the Guardian Council serve a six-year term. MPs whose proposed amendments have not been adopted by the committee concerned. as it is known for short. Very urgent. bills however are discussed only once by the committee concerned. KHUZESTAN 17 and ratify them. general elections and referenda. for instance the budget. bills and motions are placed on the agenda immediately. This is the normal procedure of legislation. . The fi rst meeting deals with the generalities of the bill and the second with its details. The council's power of veto over legislation imposed a state of imbroglio on important bills such as those dealing with farming lands distribution. It is assigned to check the laws passed by the Majlis.Subsequently the bill comes up for a second reading which concerns its details. The degree of urgency of the bills has to be approved by a majority of the MPs. The Guardian Council. KURDETSAN 6 The council will announce its opinion on them within no more than 10 days. two-star bills do not even go to the committees and are debated by two successive meetings of the Chamber. foreign trade and goods distribution throughout the first two terms of the Majlis. three star. Article 93 of the constitution has emphasized that the Majlis does not hold any legal status. The council members are required to attend Majlis CHAHARMAHAL&BAKHTIYARI 3 debates on urgent bills. Top urgent.