Assembly of Experts for Constitution
|4th constituent assembly|
|Founded||15 August 1979|
|Disbanded||15 November 1979|
|Majority (55 to 58 seats)|
|Multi-seat districts: Plurality-at-large voting |
Single-seat districts: First-past-the-post voting
|3 August 1979|
|Senate House, Tehran, Iran|
|Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran|
Assembly of Experts for Constitution (Persian : مجلس خبرگان قانون اساسی), also translated the Assembly for the Final Review of the Constitution (AFRC), was a constituent assembly in Iran, elected in the summer of 1979 to write a new constitution for the Islamic Republic Government. It convened on August 18 to consider the draft constitution written earlier, completed its deliberations rewriting the constitution on November 15, and saw the constitution it had written approved by referendum on December 2 and 3, 1979, by over 98 percent of the vote.
Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.
A constituent assembly or constitutional assembly is a body or assembly of popularly elected representatives composed for the purpose of drafting or adopting a constitutional-type document. The constituent assembly is a subset of a constitutional convention elected entirely by popular vote; that is, all constituent assemblies are constitutional conventions, but a constitutional convention is not necessarily a constituent assembly. As the fundamental document constituting a state, a constitution cannot normally be modified or amended by the state's normal legislative procedures; instead a constitutional convention or a constituent assembly, the rules for which are normally laid down in the constitution, must be set up. A constituent assembly is usually set up for its specific purpose, which it carries out in a relatively short time, after which the assembly is dissolved. A constituent assembly is a form of representative democracy.
Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital, largest city, and leading economic and cultural center.
Prior to its election a "Revolutionary council" had unveiled a draft constitution on June 18 which was written by Hasan Habibi. Aside from substituting a strong president, on the Gaullist model, for the monarchy, the constitution did not differ markedly from Iran's 1906 constitution and did not give the clerics an important role in the new state structure. Ayatollah Khomeini was prepared to submit this draft, virtually unmodified, to a national referendum or, barring that, to an appointed council of forty representatives who could advise on, but not revise, the document. Ironically, as it turned out, it was the leftist who most vehemently rejected this procedure and demanded that the constitution be submitted for full-scale review by a constituent assembly. Ayatollah Shariatmadari supported these demands.
Ayatollah or ayatullah is a high-ranking Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah cleric. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, Quran reading, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hujjat al-Islam.
Sayyid Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari, also spelled Shariat-Madari, was an Iranian Grand Ayatollah. He favoured the traditional Shiite practice of keeping clerics away from governmental positions and was a critic of Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, denouncing the taking hostage of diplomats at the US embassy in Tehran. In 1982 he was accused of being part of a plot to bomb Khomeini's home and to overthrow the Islamic state, and he remained under house arrest until his death in 1986. His followers also opposed Ruhollah Khomeini.
According to Shaul Bakhash, the seventy-three-member Assembly of Experts was made up of 55 clerics, 50 of whom were candidates of the Islamic Republic Party (IRP). About a dozen members were independents or represented other parties and voted against the controversial articles of the constitution.According to Sepehr Zabir, pro-IRP faction were 50% while 10% were better-known clerics such as Mahmoud Taleghani who were closer secular groupings. 20% were non-clerics embracing theocracy and the remaining 20% were followers of Abolhassan Banisadr and Mehdi Bazargan. Organizations such as the National Front, People's Fedai Guerrillas and People's Mujahedin of Iran were totally absent. A seat of Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou of Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan remained vacant after his credential was rejected.
Shaul Bakhash, is an Iranian-American historian in Iranian studies at George Mason University where he is a "Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History."
Mahmoud Taleghani was an Iranian theologian, Muslim reformer, democracy advocate and a senior Shi'a cleric of Iran. Taleghani was a contemporary of the Iranian Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and a leader in his own right of the movement against Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. A founding member of the Freedom Movement of Iran, he has been described as a representative of the tendency of many "Shia clerics to blend Shia with Marxist ideals in order to compete with leftist movements for youthful supporters" during the 1960s and 1970s. His "greatest influence" has been said to have been in "his teaching of Quranic exegesis," as many later revolutionaries were his students.
Seyyed Abolhassan Banisadr is an Iranian politician. He was the first President of Iran after the 1979 Iranian Revolution abolished the monarchy, serving from 4 February 1980 until he was impeached by parliament on 20 June 1981. Prior to his presidency, he was the minister of foreign affairs in the interim government. He has resided for many years in France where he co-founded the National Council of Resistance of Iran. At age 86, Banisadr is currently the oldest living former Iranian President.
The controversial articles in question were ones that revamped the draft constitution to include principles of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists (velayat-e faqih) and establish the basis for a state dominated by the Shia clergy.The article was passed with 53 votes in favor, while 8 cast votes against and 5 abstained.
Members of the opposition bloc were reportedly the following:
Ezzatollah Sahabi was an Iranian politician and journalist. He was a parliament member from 1980 to 1984.
Ali Golzadeh Ghafouri was an Iranian Shia cleric and religious progressive politician.
Seyyed Ahmad Nourbakhsh is an Iranian engineer and professor of turbomachinery at the University of Tehran. He was elected to the 73-seats Assembly of Experts for Constitution in 1979.
Representatives of ethnoreligious minorities are also likely to have voted with the opposition.They were:
The assembly's work was part of a highly contentious time during the Iranian Revolution that saw the breakup of the original alliance of secular, radical, religious, and theocratic groups that all united to overthrow the Shah.It was to the Assembly that Khomeini proclaimed "the velayat-e faqih is not something created by the Assembly of Experts. It is something that God has ordained," which clashed with comments such as, "our intention is not that religious leaders should themselves administer the state," made before the victory of the revolution.
The Assembly of Experts for Constitution is not to be confused with the later Assembly of Experts of the Leadership, which is a body created by the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran to elect and supervise Iran's Supreme Leader.
The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution, was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the last monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the United States-backed monarchy was supported by various leftist and Islamist organizations and student movements.
Jaleleddin Farsi is an Iranian former politician who served as a member of the parliament from 1984 to 1988. He was also elected to the 73-man Assembly of Experts for Constitution responsible for drafting the constitution in 1979.
The Islamic Republican Party formed in mid-1979 to assist the Iranian Revolution and Ayatollah Khomeini establish theocracy in Iran. It was disbanded in May 1987 due to internal conflicts.
Velayat-e faqih, also known as Islamic Government, is a book by the Iranian Muslim cleric, faqīh, and revolutionary Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, first published in 1970, and probably the most influential document written in modern times in support of theocratic rule.
The Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, also called the Governance of the Jurist, is a post-Occultation theory in Shia Islam which holds that Islam gives a faqīh custodianship over people. Ulama supporting the theory disagree over how encompassing custodianship should be. One interpretation – Limited Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist – holds that guardianship should be limited to non-litigious matters including religious endowments (Waqf) judicial matters and the property for which no specific person is responsible. Another – Absolute Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist – maintains that Guardianship should include all issues for which ruler in the absence of Imams have responsibility, including governance of the country. The idea of guardianship as rule was advanced by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a series of lectures in 1970 and now forms the basis of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution of Iran calls for a faqih, or Vali-ye faqih, to serve as the Supreme Leader of the government. In the context of Iran, Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist is often referred to as "rule by the jurisprudent", or "rule of the Islamic jurist".
The Council of the Islamic Revolution was a group formed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to manage the Iranian Revolution on 10 January 1979, shortly before he returned to Iran. "Over the next few months there issued from the council hundreds of rulings and laws, dealing with everything from bank nationalization to nurses' salaries." Its existence was kept a secret during the early, less secure time of the revolution, and its members and the exact nature of what the council did remained undisclosed to the public until early 1980. Some of the council's members like Motahhari, Taleqani, Bahonar, Beheshti, Qarani died during Iran–Iraq War or were assassinated by the MKO during the consolidation of the Iranian Revolution. Most of those who remained were put aside by the regime.
This article is a timeline of events relevant to the Islamic Revolution in Iran. For earlier events refer to Pahlavi dynasty and for later ones refer to History of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This article doesn't include the reasons of the events and further information is available in Islamic revolution of Iran.
Khomeinism is the founding ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Impact of the religious and political ideas of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini include replacing Iran's millennia-old monarchy with theocracy. Khomeini declared Islamic jurists the true holders of not only religious authority but political authority, who must be obeyed as "an expression of obedience to God", and whose rule has "precedence over all secondary ordinances [in Islam] such as prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage."
Ayatollah Seyed Reza Zanjani was a Shia Iranian cleric who opposed first the autocracy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and then theocracy that was established by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his supporters following the Islamic Revolution.
Many organizations, parties and guerrilla groups were involved in the Iranian Revolution. Some were part of Ayatollah Khomeini's network and supported the theocratic Islamic Republic movement, while others did not and were suppressed. Some groups were created after the fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty and still survive; others helped overthrow the Shah but no longer exist.
The Muslim People's Republic Party (MPRP) or Islamic People's Republican Party was a short-lived party associated with Shia Islamic cleric Shariatmadari. It was founded in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution as a "moderate, more liberal counterweight" to the theocratic, Islamist Islamic Republican Party (IRP) of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and disbanded in 1980.
The consolidation of the Iranian Revolution refers to a turbulent process of Islamic Republic stabilization, following the completion of the revolution. After the Shah of Iran and his regime were overthrown by revolutionaries in February 1979, Iran was in a "revolutionary crisis mode" from this time until 1982 or 1983. Its economy and the apparatus of government collapsed. Military and security forces were in disarray.
Grand Ayatollah Asadollah Bayat-Zanjani is an Iranian theologian, Islamic philosopher, writer and Grand marja of Islam. He published his objection to the velayat-e faqih and claims this regime has nothing to do with Islam.
Grand Ayatollah Ahmad Azari-Qomi-Bigdeli (1925–1999) was an Iranian cleric.
The ideology of the Iranian Revolution has been called a "complex combination" of nationalism, political populism, and Shia Islamic "religious radicalism".
The Iranian revolution expresses itself in the language of Islam, that is to say, as a religious movement with a religious leadership, a religiously formulated critique of the old order, and religiously expressed plans for the new. Muslim revolutionaries look to the birth of Islam as their model, and see themselves as engaged in a struggle against paganism, oppression, and empire.
Constitutional Convention elections were held in Iran on 3 and 4 August 1979. The result was a victory for the Islamic Republican Party. 10,784,932 voted in the elections, marking 51.71% turnout. Of all members elected, 68% were clerics.
The Supreme Leader of Iran, also referred to as Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, but officially called the Supreme Leadership Authority, is the head of state as well as the ultimate political and religious authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The armed forces, judiciary, state television, and other key government organizations are subject to the Supreme Leader. The current longtime officeholder, Ali Khamenei, has been issuing decrees and making the final decisions on economy, environment, foreign policy, education, national planning, and everything else in Iran. Khamenei also makes the final decisions on the amount of transparency in elections, and has dismissed and reinstated presidential cabinet appointees. The Supreme Leader directly chooses the ministers of Defense, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs, as well as certain other ministers, such as the Science Minister. Iran's regional policy is directly controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' task limited to protocol and ceremonial occasions. All of Iran's ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly report to the Supreme Leader.