Administrative Structure in Iran

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Constitution & Parliament

Iran's Constitution is based upon Islamic teachings. The notion of Velayate-e-Faghi, the Government of the Godly, forms a central theme. Valye-Faghigh (better termed as leader) is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He also appoints persons to key constitutional bodies such as the Council of Guardians and the Supreme Judicial Council. There is provision in the Constitution for this leadership role to be administered by a committee if no suitable candidate is available. The present leader, is Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenie.

Below the leader there is a President, who is elected by direct popular vote for a four-year term. The President's executive powers were strengthened by an amendment to the Constitution in 1990 and now the President is the head of the Government. He forms the Cabinet but each of his Ministers are subject to Majlis scrutiny before appointments are confirmed.

There is a 270 member General Assembly called the Majlis. Members are elected by direct popular vote for a four-year term. Only approved Islamic candidates are eligible. There is also a Council of Guardians, whose task it is to ensure that all legislative proposals are in accordance with Islamic principles.

Executive Body As mentioned before, the President is in charge of the executive body. He appoints and dismisses Ministers. He also takes direct control over all planning and budgetary affairs

For local administrative purposes, Iran is divided into 24 Ostans, or provinces. The Ostans are subject to strict central government control. Each Ministry has its own branch offices and also their own research and planning facilities. Normally, Ministries possess a range of affiliated institutes.


After the Revolution, the former judicial system was dismantled and Revolutionary Courts were established. Constitutionally, the Supreme Judicial Council is the highest judicial authority.

In general Iran has 28 ostanha or provinces such as Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi, Bushehr, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshahan, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kohkiluyeh va Buyer Ahmadi, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qom, Qazvin, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan

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