Iran has a good check and balance system! Iran should be envy of the free world!

• The Majlis of Iran comprises 290 members elected for four-year terms.

• The Majlis drafts legislation, ratifies international treaties, and approves the national budget. All Majlis candidates and all legislation from the assembly must be approved by the Council of Guardians.

• The Council of Guardians comprises twelve jurists including six appointed by the Supreme Leader. The others are elected by the Parliament from among the jurists nominated by the Head of the Judiciary.

• The Council interprets the constitution and may veto Parliament. If a law is deemed incompatible with the constitution or Sharia (Islamic law), it is referred back to Parliament for revision.

• In a controversial exercise of its authority, the Council has drawn upon a narrow interpretation of Iran’s constitution to veto parliamentary candidates. The Expediency Council has the authority to mediate disputes between Parliament and the Council of Guardians, and serves as an advisory body to the Supreme Leader, making it one of the most powerful governing bodies in the country.

• The Supreme Leader appoints the head of Iran’s Judiciary, who in turn appoints the head of the Supreme Court and the chief public prosecutor.

• There are several types of courts including public courts that deal with civil and criminal cases, and “revolutionary courts” which deal with certain categories of offenses, including crimes against national security. The decisions of the revolutionary courts are final and cannot be appealed.

• The Special Clerical Court handles crimes allegedly committed by clerics, although it has also taken on cases involving lay people. The Special Clerical Court functions independently of the regular judicial framework and is accountable only to the Supreme Leader. The Court’s rulings are final and cannot be appealed.

• The Assembly of Experts, which meets for one week annually, comprises 86 “virtuous and learned” clerics elected by adult suffrage for eight-year terms. As with the presidential and parliamentary elections, the Council of Guardians determines candidates’ eligibility.
• The Assembly elects the Supreme Leader and has the constitutional authority to remove the Supreme Leader from power at any time. It has not challenged any of the Supreme Leader’s decisions.

• Local City Councils are elected by public vote to four-year terms in all cities and villages of Iran. According to article seven of Iran’s Constitution, these local councils together with the Parliament are “decision-making and administrative organs of the State”. This section of the constitution was not implemented until 1999 when the first local council elections were held across the country. Councils have many different responsibilities including electing mayors, supervising the activities of municipalities; studying, planning, co-ordinating and implementing of social, cultural, educational, health, economic, and welfare requirements of their constituencies.

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