Islamic Republic of Iran
The Executive
(Source: Iran Year Book, 1996)


The second highest authority next to the leader, is the president. The constitution of 1979 saw the president as the head of the executive but at the same time as the coordinator of the three branches of the state. This placed him above all three of them.

The President is directly elected by people for a term of four years and his re-election for a successive term is permitted only once. According to the Constitution, he must possess the following qualifications: Iranian orgin and nationality, administrat ive and managerial skills, piety and trustworthiness, and a belief in the Islamic Republic's fundamental principles and the official religion of the country.

The President signs and supervises the implementation of laws passed by the Majles, signs treaties and other international agreements ratified by the Majles, receives the credentials of foreign ambassadors, endorses those of Iranian ambassadors sent abroad, and presides over the National Security Council. His responsibilities also include the administration of the country's budget and development plans ratified by the Majles.

Either the President or the First Vice President presides over the meetings of the Cabinet.

The Cabinet consists of the Ministers for

The President also has seven aids in charge of Planning and Budget Organization, the Organization of Administrative and Employment Affairs, Atomic Energy Organization, Civil Service and Social Security, the Environmental Affairs Organization, the Executive Affairs Organizations, and the Physical Training Organization.

The prime minister was the actual head of the executive. According to the constitution of 1979 he should be nominated by the president and had to win a vote of confidence from the Majlis. Ministers were nominated by the prime minister and approved by the president. Upon approval by the latter, ministers appeared before the Majlis to receive a vote of confidence.

Ministers were directly accountable to the Majlis. The prime minister was responsible for all the actions taken by his ministers, and each individual minister was responsible for all measures and decisions taken by the cabinet. Members of parliament might table motions of no confidence in the cabinet as a whole or in individual ministers (Articles 133-137 of the constitution).

The most important modification of the constitutional amendment in regard of the executive is the abolition of the office of prime minister. The president has been given all the powers that the prime minister had under the constitution. The president will name ministers, introduce them to the Majlis to obtain votes of confidence, and ask for a vote of confidence for his government from the Majlis on controversial issues. Unlike the prime minister, however, he does not have to receive a vote of confidence before forming a government, because he will be elected by the direct vote of the people. The president, however, faces the same checks as the prime minister.

In addition to ministers, the president may also be asked questions or face a vote of non-confidence. One quarter of all members of Majlis may table a question to the president, who will have to answer it in the house. Any one member may put questions to any minister of his responsibilities. Motion of non-confidence in ministers must be signed by 10 members of Majlis. Ministers who fail to win a vote of confidence will be dismissed and may not be members of the government immediately formed afterwards. To enable a motion of non-confidence in the president, endorsement of one-third of members is required. A majority of two-thirds is needed to dismiss the president with a vote of non-confidence.

The president is no longer required to co-ordinate the Relations of the three powers of the state as the constitution earlier required. That is a task of the leader. He will have several deputies, and His vice-president will assume his tasks in his absence, upon his death or resignation, or illness for more than two months, or in any other case. The leader's consent is essential for this. If necessary, the vice president is required to arrange for a presidential election within 50 days of assuming office.

The plan and budget ministry has been abolished as a ministry, and the responsibility for it as well as the Civil Employment and Administrative Affairs Organization has been entrusted to the president. The ministry had replaced the plan and budget Organization, which had been under the direct control of the prime minister in 1985. This came about because members of Majlis were not allowed to put questions to the prime minister. But they could demand answers from the plan and budget minister.


The President's Office consists of the Secretariat, advisors and deputies to the president. After the revolution, documents and files of the former regime's disbanded National Security and Intelligence Organization, which was affiliated to the Prime Minister's Office were taken over. A special department was assigned to take charge of those files. That department is still functioning under the president.


- Agriculture (Vezarat-e Keshavarzi): A large number of research and other centers operate under the authority of this ministry. The most important of them are:

Affiliates: - Commerce (Vezarat-e Bazargani) has the following affiliates: - Culture and Higher Education (Vezarat Farhang va Amoozesh Aali) supervises the following research centers: - Culture and Islamic Guidance (Vezarat Farhang va Ershad-e Islami)has the following affiliates: - Defense (Vezarat-e Defa) runs: - Economic Affairs and Finance (Vezarat Omoor Eqtessadi va Daraie) has several affiliates: - Education (Vezarat-e Ammoozesh va Parvaresh) supervises: - Energy (Vezarat-e Niroo) has several affiliates: - Foreign Affairs (Vezarat-e Omoor Kharejeh): - Health and Medical Education (Vezarat-e Behdasht, Darman va Amoozesh Pezeshki) has the following affiliates: - Industry (Vezarat-e Sanaye) exerts control over industries though the following bodies: - Intelligence (Vezarat-e Ettela'at) was established in 1983 and was put in charge of national security, counter-intelligence and handing of outlawed political groups. It does not have any affiliates.

- Interior (Vezarat-e Keshvar) is in charge of the following organizations:

- Islamic Revolution Guards (Vezarat-e Sepah Pasdaran-e Enqelab-e Islamic) is in charge of the paramilitary national Mobilization of the Oppressed (Baseej-e Mostazafan) Organization.

- Justice (Vezarat Dadgostari) supervises:

- Labour and Social Affairs (Vezarat Kar va Omoor Ejetma'i) oversees: - Mines and Metals (Vezarat-e Ma'adan va Felezzat) is in charge of: - Oil (Vezarat-e Naft) has several affiliated companies: - Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones (Vezarat-e Post, Telegraph va Telephone) runs: - Roads & Transport (Vezarat-e Raah va Tarabari) has the following affiliates: