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Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran

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Adopted October 24, 1979

Article 1

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 Qur’anic justice, in the referendum of Farvardin 9 and 10 in the year 1358 of the solar Islamic calendar, corresponding to Jamadi al-‘Awwal 1 and 2 in the year 1399 of the lunar Islamic calendar (March 29 and 30, 1979], through the affirmative vote of a majority of 98.2% of eligible voters, held after the victorious Islamic Revolution led by the eminent marji’ al-taqlid, Ayatullah al-Uzma Imam Khumayni.

Article 2

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 the 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 (imamah) 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:

1- continuous ijtihad of the fuqaha’ possessing necessary qualifications, exercised on the basis off the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Ma’sumun, upon all of whom be peace;

2- sciences and arts and the most advanced results of human experience, together with the effort to advance them further;

3- 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

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 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 defense 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, an (i 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 mustad’afiin of the world.

Article 4

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 fuqaha’ of the Guardian Council are judges in this matter.

Article 5

During the Occultation of the Vali al-Asr (may God hasten his reappearance), the Velayah and leadership of the Ummah devolve upon the just (‘adil] and pious [muttaqi] faqih, 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 107.

Article 6

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

In accordance with the command of the Qur’an contained in the verse (“Their affairs are by consultations among them” [42:38]) and (“Consult them in affairs” [3:159]), 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. The nature of 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

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 Qur’anic verse; “The believers, men and women, are guardians of one another; they enjoin the good and forbid the evil” [9:71]).

Article 9

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

Since the family is the fundamental unit of Islamic society, all laws, regulations, and pertinent programmers 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

In accordance with the sacred verse of the Qur’an (“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 has 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

The official religion of Iran is Islam and the Twelver Ja’fari school [in usual al-Din and fiqh], and this principle will remain eternally immutable. Other Islamic schools, including the Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali, and Zaydi, 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 of fiqh constitute the majority, local regulations, within the bounds of the jurisdiction of local councils, are to be in accordance with the respective school of fiqh, without infringing upon the rights of the followers of other schools.

Article 13

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

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 15

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

Since the language of the Qur’an 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

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

The official flag of Iran is composed of green, white and red colors with the special emblem of the Islamic Republic, together with the motto [Allah-o Akbar].

Article 19

All people of Iran, whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they belong, enjoy equal rights; and color, race, language, and the like, do not bestow any privilege.

Article 20

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

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 childbearing, 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, and 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

The dignity, life, property, rights, residence, and occupation of the individual are inviolate, except in cases sanctioned by law.

Article 23

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

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

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 willful failure to transmit them, eavesdropping, and all forms of covert investigation are forbidden, except as provided by law.

Article 26

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

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…

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