6.2- Powers and Authority of The Islamic Consultative Assembly
The Islamic Consultative Assembly can establish laws on all matters, within the limits of its competence as laid down in the Constitution.
The Islamic Consultative Assembly cannot enact laws contrary to the usual and ahkam of the official religion of the country or to the Constitution. It is the duty of the Guardian Council to determine whether a violation has occurred, in accordance with Article 96.
The interpretation of ordinary laws falls within the competence of the Islamic Consultative Assembly. The intent of this Article does not prevent the interpretations that judges may make in the course of cassation.
Government bills are presented to the Islamic Consultative Assembly after receiving the approval of the Council of Ministers. Members’ bills may be introduced in the Islamic Consultative Assembly if sponsored by at least fifteen members.
Members’ bills and proposals and amendments to governments bills proposed by members that entail the reduction of the public income or the increase of public expenditure may be introduced in the Assembly only if means for compensating for the decrease in income or for meeting the new expenditure are also specified.
The Islamic Consultative Assembly has the right to investigate and examine all the affairs of the country.
International treaties, protocols, contracts, and agreements must be approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
All changes in the boundaries of the country are forbidden, with the exception of minor amendments in keeping with the interests of the country, on condition that they are not unilateral, do not encroach on the independence and territorial integrity of the country, and receive the approval of four-fifths of the total members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
The proclamation of martial law is forbidden. In case of war or emergency conditions akin to war, the government has the right to impose temporarily certain necessary restrictions, with the agreement of the Islamic Consultative Assembly. In no case can such restrictions last for more than thirty days; if the need for them persists beyond this limit, the government must obtain new authorization for them from the Assembly.
The taking and giving of loans or grants-in-aid, domestic and foreign, by the government, must be approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
The granting of concessions to foreigners for the formation of companies or institutions dealing with commerce, industry, agriculture, services or mineral extraction, is absolutely forbidden.
The employment of foreign experts is forbidden, except in cases of necessity and with the approval of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Government buildings and properties forming part of the national heritage cannot be transferred except with the approval of the Islamic Consultative Assembly; that, too, is not applicable in the case of irreplaceable treasures.
Every representative is responsible to the entire nation and has the right to express his views on all internal and external affairs of the country.
The right of membership is vested with the individual and is not transferable to others. The Assembly cannot delegate the power of legislation to an individual or committee. But whenever necessary, it can delegate the power of legislating certain laws to its own committees, in accordance with Article 72. In such a case, the laws will be implemented on a tentative basis for a period specified by the Assembly, and their final approval will rest with the Assembly. Likewise, the Assembly may, in accordance with Article 72, delegate to the relevant committees the responsibility for permanent approval of articles of association of organizations, companies, government institutions, or organizations affiliated to the government and or invest the authority in the government. In such a case, the government approvals must not be inconsistent with the principles and commandments of the official religion in the country and or the Constitution which question shall be determined by the Guardian Council in accordance with what is stated in Article 96. In addition to this, the government approvals shall not be against the laws and other general rules of the country and, while calling for implementation, the same shall be brought to the knowledge of the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly for his study and indication that the approvals in question are not inconsistent with the aforesaid rules.
Members of the Assembly are completely free in expressing their views and casting their votes in the course of performing their duties as representatives, and they cannot be prosecuted or arrested for opinions expressed in the Assembly or votes cast in the course of performing their duties as representatives.
The President must obtain, for the Council of Ministers, after being formed and before all other business, a vote of confidence from the Assembly. During his incumbency, he can also seek a vote of confidence for the Council of Ministers from the Assembly on important and controversial issues.
Whenever at least one-fourth of the total members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly pose a question to the President, or any one member of the Assembly poses a question to a minister on a subject relating to their duties, the President or the minister is obliged to attend the Assembly and answer the question. This answer must not be delayed more than one month in the case of the President and ten days in the case of the minister, except with an excuse deemed reasonable by the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
1.Members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly can interpolate the Council of Ministers or an individual minister in instances they deem necessary. Interpolations can be tabled if they bear the signatures of at least ten members. The Council of Ministers or interpolated minister must be present in the Assembly within ten days after the tabling of the interpolation in order to answer it and seek a vote of confidence. If the Council of Ministers or the minister concerned fails to attend the Assembly, the members who tabled the interpolation will explain their reasons, and the Assembly will declare a vote of no- confidence if it deems it necessary. If the Assembly does not pronounce a vote of confidence, the Council of Ministers or the minister subject to interpolation is dismissed. In both cases, the ministers subject to interpolation cannot become members of the next Council of Ministers formed immediately afterward.
2.In the event at least one-third of the members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly interpolate the President concerning his executive responsibilities in relation to the Executive Power and the executive affairs of the country, the President must be present in the Assembly within one month after the tabling of the interpolation in order to give adequate explanations in regard to the matters raised. In the event, after hearing the statements of the opposing and favoring members and the reply of the President, two-thirds of the members of the Assembly declare a vote of no confidence, the same will be communicated to the Leadership for information and implementation of Section (10) of Article 110 of the Constitution.
Whoever has a complaint concerning the work of the Assembly or the executive power, or the judicial power can forward his complaint in writing to the Assembly. The Assembly must investigate his complaint and give a satisfactory reply. In cases where the complaint relates to the executive or the judiciary, the Assembly must demand a proper investigation in the matter and an adequate explanation from them, and announce the results within a reasonable time. In cases where the subject of the complaint is of public interest, the reply must be made public.
With a view to safeguard the Islamic ordinances and the Constitution, in order to examine the compatibility of the legislation passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly with Islam, a council to be known as the Guardian Council is to be constituted with the following composition:
- 1.six ‘adil fuqaha’ conscious of the present needs and the issues of the day, to be selected by the Leader, and
- 2.six jurists, specializing in different areas of law, to be elected by the Islamic Consultative Assembly from among the Muslim jurists nominated by the Head of the Judicial Power.
Members of the Guardian Council are elected to serve for a period of six years, but during the first term, after three years have passed, half of the members of each group will be changed by lot and new members will be elected in their place.
The Islamic Consultative Assembly does not hold any legal status if there is no Guardian Council in existence, except for the purpose of approving the credentials of its members and the election of the six jurists on the Guardian Council.
All legislation passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly must be sent to the Guardian Council. The Guardian Council must review it within a maximum of ten days from its receipt with a view to ensuring its compatibility with the criteria of Islam and the Constitution. If it finds the legislation incompatible, it will return it to the Assembly for review. Otherwise, the legislation will be deemed enforceable.
In cases where the Guardian Council deems ten days inadequate for completing the process of review and delivering a definite opinion, it can request the Islamic Consultative Assembly to grant an extension of the time limit not exceeding ten days.
The determination of compatibility of the legislation passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly with the laws of Islam rests with the majority vote of the fuqaha’ on the Guardian Council; and the determination of its compatibility with the Constitution rests with the majority of all the members of the Guardian Council.
In order to expedite the work, the members of the Guardian Council may attend the Assembly and listen to its debates when a government bill or a members’ bill is under discussion. When an urgent government or members’ bill is placed on the agenda of the Assembly, the members of the Guardian Council must attend the Assembly and make their views known.
The authority of the interpretation of the Constitution is vested with the Guardian Council, which is to be done with the consent of three-fourths of its members.
The Guardian Council has the responsibility of supervising the elections of the Assembly of Experts for Leadership, the President of the Republic, the Islamic Consultative Assembly, and the direct recourse to popular opinion and referenda.