• Iran is a theocratic Islamic republic governed under the constitution of 1979, which codified Islamic principles of government. The constitution was revised in 1989, expanding presidential powers and eliminating the position of prime minister. The president, who is popularly elected for a four-year term, serves as the head of government. The supreme leader, who effectively serves as the chief of state, is appointed for life by an Islamic religious advisory board (the Guardian Council) that works in close conjunction with the government. The legislative branch consists of the 270-seat Islamic consultative assembly, or parliament, whose members are elected by popular vote. Although Iran has no legal political parties, there are at least three important political groups, as well as a number of pressure groups, some of which have been suppressed by the government.
  • Islamic rules/govt
  • Andy gave a sort of superficial answer (all correct, make no mistake). A more careful view shows us a theocracy with most day-to-day business handled by a democratic republic. The "Supreme Leader" is a Muslim cleric chosen by a very small body of high-ranking Muslim clerics (the twelve-member Guardian Council). A new Supreme Leader, of course, is always chosen from among that Guardian Council. The Supreme Leader is Supreme Leader for life. The Supreme Leader determines who will run for President (until relatively recently, only one person allowed to run, but in the past couple of decades a second candidate permitted to run). The Supreme Leader always makes his choice of Presidential candidate known, and so far no Presidential candidate other than the candidate favored by the Supreme Leader has ever come close to winning an election. *** The Supreme Leader can create laws without parliamentary approval, and can veto any law. The Supreme Leader is the head of the military, the judicial system, and the state television network (read: the national propaganda machine). The Supreme Leader can dismiss the President or any cabinet member. The members of the Guardian Council are appointed by the Supreme Leader or his lieutenant. Etc. etc. *** That is to say: the Supreme Leader has absolute authority over the government. However: most of the day-to-day business of politics, law-making and so-on is run by the President and Parliament. *** One must never forget, though, that the doings of the President and Parliament are always subject to the Supreme Leader. He can quash any law or policy for any reason, regardless of Parliament or Presidential approval. He can institute any law or policy for any reason, regardless of Parliament or Presidential opposition. In fact, that being the case, both President and members of Parliament are always quick and eager to support any edict that comes from the Supreme Leader. Their careers depend upon them doing so.

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