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Encyclopedia > Council of Guardians

The Guardian Council of the Constitution (شورای نگهبان قانون اساسی in Persian) is a high office within the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran which has the authority to interpret the constitution and to determine if the laws passed by the parliament are in line with the constitution of Iran or not. As such, the Council itself is not a legislative body, but it has veto power over the Iranian parliament. Its members are composed of Islamic clerics and lawyers.

Six members of the Council are clerics selected by the Supreme Leader, who serves as Iran's Head of State. The other six members are lawyers proposed by Iran's head of judicial branch (selected in turn by the Supreme Leader), and voted in by the Parliament. Members are elected for six years on a phased basis, so that half the membership changes every three years.

As mentioned, the council also holds veto power over all legislation approved by the Majlis. It can drop a law based on two accounts: being against Islamic laws, or being against the constitution. While all the members vote on the laws being compatible with the constitution, only the six clerics vote on them being compatible with Islam.

If any law is rejected, they will be passed back to the Majlis for correction. If the Majlis and the Council of Guardians couldn't decide on a case, it is passed up to the Expediency Council for a final decision.

All candidates of parliamentary or presidency elections, as well as candidates for the Assembly of Experts and city councils, have to be qualified by the Guardian Council in order to be able to run in the election. This, is based on a controversial interpretation of the constitution and has led to numerous bitter political debates in Iran.

The current chairman of the council is Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, deputized by the lawyer Abbasali Kadkhodai. Other cleric members are Sadegh Larijani, Mohammad Reza Modarresi-Yazdi, Mohammad Momen, Gholamreza Rezvani, and Mohammad Yazdi. The other lawyer members are Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, Ebrahim Azizi, Gholamhossein Elham (spokesman), Mohsen Esmaili, and Abbas Ka'bi.

External links

  • The official website of the Guardian Council (in Persian) (http://www.irisn.com/)
  • Iran newspaper's article on lawyer members of the Guardian Council (in Persian) (http://khabarnameh.gooya.com/politics/archives/012928.php)

  Results from FactBites:
Guardian Council / Council of Guardians (938 words)
The Guardian Council, as it is known for short, is in effect an upper house of parliament with the power to vote out the lower house's resolutions.
The Guardian Council, comprising of six jurists appointed by the supreme leader and six lawyers, oversees laws which are passed by the parliament to confirm their conformity with the Islamic teachings and the national constitution.
The Guardian Council comprises a dozen members, that is, six jurisprudent members who have attained the Islamic rank of "Ayatollah" who are appointed by the Supreme Leader, and six lay jurists, who are appointed by the head of the judiciary from among candidates nominated by the Supreme Judicial Council and approved by the Majles.
Iranica.com - GUARDIAN COUNCIL (2698 words)
However, since the Expediency Council was organized, the Majles has been able to pass on issues rejected by the Guardian Council for the ultimate decision of the Expediency Council.
The Guardian Council's right of opposition is not restricted to the bills approved by the Majles, but also applies to statutes approved by boards of organizations and societies belonging to, or affiliated with, the state (art.
Since the members of the Guardian Council are directly (the six theologians) and indirectly (the six jurists) nominated by the leader, their preferential and recognizable political, religious and social inclinations depend on that of the leader.
  More results at FactBites »



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