Guardian Council

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The Guardian Council ( Persian شورای نگهبان قانون اساسی Schūrā-ye Negahbān-e Ghānūn-e Asāsī , 'Council of the Guardians of the Basic Law') is part of the Iranian government and hasa prominent positionalongside the Supreme Leader . It consists of twelve members.

The Guardian Council as the central institution in the political system of Iran


According to Article 91 of the Iranian Constitution, half of the twelve seats on the Guardian Council are occupied by clergymen and half by lawyers. The six spiritual members are appointed directly by the Supreme Leader , six lawyers from different areas of law are elected by parliament , whereby only persons proposed and approved by the chief judge may be elected by parliament. The chief judge is in turn appointed by the chief leader.

The members are appointed for six years. Every three years half of the members resign by drawing lots (Article 92), while new members take their place. The power of the Guardian Council is based primarily on its extensive right of veto . According to the constitution, it is formally part of the legislature, but also takes on judicial tasks through its right of veto. The political scientist Wahied Wahdat-Hagh speaks of an Islamic political bureau .

On February 20, 1980, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini appointed the spiritual members of the Guardian Council for the first time , and on July 17, 1980 parliament appointed the lawyers. The first guardian council was composed of the clergy Abdar-Rahim Rabani Schirazi, Lotfallah Safi, Mohammed Reza Mahdavi-Kani , Ahmad Dschannati , Yusuf Sani, Golamreza Rezwani, as well as the lawyers Godarz Eftehar Dschahromi, Hossein Mehrpur, Mohsen Hadari, Ali Azad, Mohammed Salchi, Mohammed Abadi.

Members of the Guardian Council

  1. the clergy:
  2. the lawyers:
    • Gholam-Hossein Elham
    • Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, Speaker of the Guardian Council
    • Mohammad Reza Alizadeh
    • Hossein-Ali Amiri
    • Mohsen Esmaili
    • Abbas Ka'bi.

Working method

The idea of ​​subordinating the legislature and executive to an Islamic-spiritual control body goes back to the Shiite cleric Fazlollah Nuri . Such an organ was first realized after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 with the establishment of the Revolutionary Council . With the adoption of the new Iranian constitution on December 3, 1979, the Guardian Council took on its role: According to Article 94, it has the task of reviewing all parliamentary resolutions within ten days for compliance with the principles of Islam and the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran . If there are contradictions, the proposed law will be rejected.

The constitution states in principle 96:

"The determination of the conformity of the resolutions [of the parliament] with the Islamic regulations is made by the majority of the Islamic legal scholars of the Guardian Council and with regard to the conformity with the Basic Law by the majority of all members of the Guardian Council."

- Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Principle 96, 1979

The Guardian Council also monitors the qualification and admission of the presidential candidates, the candidates for the expert council , the candidates for the parliament and is in direct contact with the revolutionary leader. A central monitoring body, appointed by the Guardian Council, monitors all election processes and announces the election results.

In the event of persistent differences between the Guardian Council and Parliament, the case can be referred to the arbitration council , called Majmae Tashkisse Maslehate Nesam , 'Assembly for the Recognition of System Interests ' , which has to make the decision.

In addition, the Guardian Council is responsible for interpreting the constitution. According to Principle 98 of the Constitution, a three-quarters majority is required for such a decision. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh describes the withdrawal of a decision of the Guardian Council from 1998.

Selected decisions

Presidential election Applicants approved candidates
Presidential election in Iran in 1989 79 2
Presidential election in Iran 1993 ? 4th
Presidential election in Iran 1997 238 4th
Presidential election in Iran 2001 814 10
Presidential election in Iran 2005 1014 8th
Presidential election in Iran 2009 475 4th

So far women have generally been excluded from presidential elections.

In the run-up to the Iranian parliamentary elections in 2008 , the Guardian Council admitted 4,476 of 7,600 candidates for the 290 seats in the Iranian parliament. In addition, a previous member of the Iranian Parliament was disqualified for the 2008 general election.

After the Iranian presidential election in 2009 , a list of a total of 646 objections was presented to the Council of Guardians in the function of the electoral review commission from the unsuccessful candidates Mir Hossein Mousawi , Mohsen Rezai and Mehdi Karroubi . On June 22nd, the spokesman for the Guardian Council, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, stated that there had been no record of any major irregularities in the election and that, in the opinion of the panel, there was no way to cancel the election.

See also


  • Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran (ed.): Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran . Bonn 1980.
  • Wahied Wahdat-Hagh : The Islamic Republic of Iran. The rule of political Islam as a variant of totalitarianism . Free University, Berlin 2003, ISBN 978-3-8258-6781-2 (diss.).
  • Hans-Georg Ebert, Henner Fürtig , Hans-Georg Müller: The Islamic Republic of Iran . Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1987, ISBN 978-3-7609-1059-8 .
  • Wilfried Buchta: Who Rules Iran? The Structure of Power in the Islamic Republic . Brookings Institution, US 2001, ISBN 978-0-944029-36-7 (English).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. died in April 2013
  2. ^ Fischer Weltalmanach: Iran: Presidential Elections 2001
  3. Christopher Lockwood: Calls for reform grow louder as Iran goes to polls ; Electronic Telegraph No. 729, May 24, 1997. (English)
  4. Michael Rubin : Iran's Myth of Moderation ( Memento from June 18, 2009 in the Internet Archive ); March 18, 2002. (English)
  5. Tagesspiegel from May 10, 2009
  6. ^ Die ZEIT of March 13, 2008
  7. Iran Report 05/2008. Page 5 ( Memento of December 10, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 95 kB)
  8. Tens of thousands marching in silence in Tehran Tagesspiegel of June 18, 2009
  9. Guardian Council rules out vote nullification Press-TV of June 22, 2009