After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, a referendum was held in Iran on the future state structure. In accordance with its results, the country was proclaimed an Islamic Republic on April 1, 1979. Iran has become a theocratic state with fundamental elements of a republican form of government.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is certainly a peculiar republic. It is based on the principle of "velayat-e faqih"1, which established the supremacy of the Islamic clergy in power structures. The functioning of the main government bodies is subject to Islamic principles.
One of the most important institutions of the Iranian political system is the Council of Experts (CE) - a state body that includes the most authoritative representatives of the Shiite clergy (currently consists of 86 members). The Council acts independently of other government bodies and performs primarily advisory functions. The main task of the Council of Experts is to elect a new spiritual leader of the country (rahbar 2) if the incumbent passes away or is unable to perform his duties. The first Rakhbar of Iran was Imam Khomeini, who was elected for life.
According to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Rahbar is not only the head of the Iranian state, but also the leader of the entire Shiite community, and he formally has full power-political, spiritual and military (Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Article 110).
Once a Rakhbar is elected, the SE then does not restrict his power in any way, and the Rakhbar has the right to accept or not take into account the opinions of the Council members. The country's current spiritual leader is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was elected Rahbar in 1989 after the death of Imam Khomeini.
The Council of Experts is often consulted by members of the Cabinet of Ministers. Some draft laws are also considered in the Mejlis only after the Council of Ministers gives an opinion on them, and experts often recommend that deputies finalize the document.
The Council o ... Read more