Interim Government of Iran

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ایران  (Persian)
Anthem:  Ey Iran (de facto) [3]
ای ایران
"Oh Iran"
Capital Tehran
Common languages Persian (de facto)
Government Provisional government
Revolutionary leader 
Ruhollah Khomeini
Prime Minister  
Mehdi Bazargan
Legislature Revolutionary Council
Historical era 20th century
11 February 1979
31 March 1979
4 November
Currency Rial
ISO 3166 code IR
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of Iran with standardized lion and sun.svg Pahlavi dynasty
Islamic Republic of Iran Flag of Iran.svg

The Interim Government of Iran (Persian : دولت موقت ايران, translit.  Dowlat-e Movaghat-e Irân), officially the Provisional Revolutionary and Islamic Government of Iran (Persian : موقت انقلابی و اسلامی دولت ایران, translit.  Movaghat-e Enqelābe y Islāmi-ye Dowlat-ye Irân) was the first government established in Iran after the Iranian Revolution, and the first nominal republic established in Iran after 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. The regime was headed by Mehdi Bazargan, one of the members of the Freedom Movement of Iran, [4] and formed on the order of Ruhollah Khomeini (known as the Ayatollah Khomeini) on 4 February 1979. From 4 February to 11 February, Bazargan and Shapour Bakhtiar, the Shah's last Prime Minister, both claimed to be the legitimate prime minister; Bakhtiar fled on 11 February. [5] Mehdi Bazargan was the prime minister of the interim government and introduced a seven-member cabinet on 14 February 1979. Ebrahim Yazdi was elected as the Foreign Minister. [6]

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is 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.

Romanization of Persian or Latinization of Persian is the representation of the Persian language with the Latin script. Several different romanization schemes exist, each with its own set of rules driven by its own set of ideological goals.

Iran Country in Western Asia

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. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is 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. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.


The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was adopted by referendum on 24 October 1979. Before it could come into force on 3 December 1979, however, the government resigned on 6 November soon after the taking over of the American embassy, [7] an act the government opposed but revolutionary leader Khomeini supported. The Council of the Islamic Revolution then served as the country's government until the formation of the first Islamic Consultative Assembly on 12 August 1980. Bazargan was elected to the first Islamic Consultative Assembly representing Tehran. [8]

Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran National constitutional law

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was adopted by referendum on 2 and 3 December 1979, and went into force replacing the Constitution of 1906. It was amended on 28 July 1989. The constitution has been called a "hybrid" of "theocratic and democratic elements". While articles One and Two vest sovereignty in God, article six "mandates popular elections for the presidency and the Majlis, or parliament." However main democratic procedures and rights are subordinate to the Guardian Council and the Supreme Leader, whose powers are spelled out in Chapter Eight.

Iran hostage crisis diplomatic standoff between Iran and the United States, 1979–81

The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic standoff between the United States and Iran. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, after a group of Iranian college students belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, who supported the Iranian Revolution, took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. It stands as the longest hostage crisis in recorded history.

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.

Formation of the interim government

When Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian revolution, came back to Iran after his 15-year exile, he appointed Mehdi Bazargan as the head of the interim government. [9] On 4 February 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini issued a decree appointing Bazargan as the prime minister of "The Provisional Islamic Revolutionary Government".

His decree stated:

Based on the proposal of the Revolutionary Council and in accordance with the canonical and legal rights which originated from the vote of overwhelming majority of Iranian nation for leadership of the movement which has been represented in the vast gatherings and wide and numerous demonstrations across Iran and because of my utmost trust on your firm belief in the holy tenets of Islam and my knowledge of your precedent in Islamic and national struggles, I appoint you the authority to establish the interim government without consideration of any affiliation to any parties or dependence on any factional groups, for formation of temporary government to arrange organizing of country affairs and especially perform a referendum and refer to public vote of nation about turning the country into Islamic republic and formation of "The Council of the Founders" from the representatives of people to approve of constitution of new regime and to hold elections of representatives of parliament of nation on the basis of the new constitution. It is necessary that you appoint and introduce the members of the temporary government as soon as possible in concordance with the conditions I have clarified. All public offices, the army, and citizens shall furnish their utmost cooperation with your interim government so as to attain the high and holy goals of this Islamic revolution and to restore order and function to the affairs of the nation. I pray to God for the success of you and your interim government in this sensitive juncture of our nation's history.

Ruhollah Al-Musavi al-Khomeini. [10]

Elaborating further on his decree, Khomeini made it clear that Iranians were commanded to obey Bazargan and that this was a religious duty.

As a man who, though the guardianship [Velayat] that I have from the holy lawgiver [the Prophet], I hereby pronounce Bazargan as the Ruler, and since I have appointed him, he must be obeyed. The nation must obey him. This is not an ordinary government. It is a government based on the sharia . Opposing this government means opposing the sharia of Islam ... Revolt against God's government is a revolt against God. Revolt against God is blasphemy. [11]

Sharia, Islamic law or Sharia law is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. In Arabic, the term sharīʿah refers to God's immutable divine law and is contrasted with fiqh, which refers to its human scholarly interpretations. The manner of its application in modern times has been a subject of dispute between Muslim fundamentalists and modernists.

Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity, or sacred objects, or toward something considered sacred or inviolable.

Khomeini's announcement came days before the army's official statement announcing the army's (Bakhtiar's last hope) neutrality in conflicts between Khomeini's and Bakhtiar's supporters. Bakhtiar fled on the same day, 11 February, the day that is officially named as Islamic Revolution's Victory Day.

The PRG is often described as "subordinate" to the Revolutionary Council, and having had difficulties reigning in the numerous committees which were competing with its authority. [12]

Members of the cabinet

Cabinet of Mehdi Bazargan
Flag of Iran (1964-1980).svg
Cabinet of Iran
Date formed11 February 1979 (1979-02-11)
Date dissolved4 November 1979 (1979-11-04)
People and organisations
Head of government Mehdi Bazargan
No. of ministers18
Ministers removed
Total no. of ministers27
Member party
Legislature term(s)None
Predecessor Cabinet of Bakhtiar
Successor Interim Cabinet of Revolutionary Council

According to Mohammad Ataie, the cabinet was made up of two main factions, moderates and radicals. [13] Most of cabinet members were nationalist veterans from the Freedom Movement of Iran and the National Front.

Bazargan reshuffled his cabinet several times because of resignation of ministers that were unable to cope with parallel sources of power. In several cases a ministry was supervised by an acting minister or Bazargan himself.

List of members of Bazargan's cabinet was as follows:

Prime Minister   Mehdi Bazargan 4 February 19796 November 1979 FMI [14]
Deputy Prime Minister
for Public Relations
and Administration
  Abbas Amir-Entezam 13 February 1979August 1979 FMI
  Sadeq Tabatabaei August 19796 November 1979 FMI [14]
Deputy Prime Minister
for Revolutionary Affairs
  Ebrahim Yazdi 13 February 197912 April 1979 FMI [14]
  Mostafa Chamran 12 April 197929 September 1979 FMI
Deputy Prime Minister
for Transitional Affairs
  Hashem Sabbaghian 13 February 197920 June 1979 FMI [14]
Minister of Interior   Ahmad Sayyed Javadi 13 February 197920 June 1979 FMI [14] [15]
  Hashem Sabbaghian 20 June 19796 November 1979 FMI [14] [15]
Minister of Foreign Affairs   Karim Sanjabi 13 February 19791 April 1979 NF [14]
  Mehdi Bazargan A1 April 197912 April 1979 FMI [14]
  Ebrahim Yazdi 12 April 197912 November 1979 FMI [14]
Minister of Health   Kazem Sami 13 February 197929 October 1979 JAMA [14] [15]
Minister of Agriculture   Ali-Mohammad Izadi 18 February 19796 November 1979 NF [14]
Minister of Information   Nasser Minachi 22 February 19796 November 1979 Independent [14]
Minister of Energy   Abbas Taj 18 February 19796 November 1979 IAE [14]
Minister of Post   Mohammad Eslami 22 February 19796 November 1979 Independent [14]
Minister of Finance   Ali Ardalan 18 February 19796 November 1979 NF [14]
Ministry of Housing   Mostafa Katiraei 13 February 19796 November 1979 IAE [14]
Minister of Labour   Dariush Forouhar 13 February 197929 September 1979 NF [14] [15]
  Ali Espahbodi A29 September 19796 November 1979 FMI [14] [15]
Ministry of Roads   Yadollah Taheri 13 February 19796 November 1979 IAE [14]
Ministry of Industries   Mahmoud Ahmadzadeh 18 February 19796 November 1979 FMI [14]
Ministry of Commerce   Reza Sadr 18 February 19796 November 1979 FMI [14]
Minister of Culture   Ali Shariatmadari 22 February 197929 September 1979 JAMA [14]
  Hassan Habibi A29 September 19796 November 1979 FMI [14]
Minister of Education   Gh. Hossein Shokouhi 22 February 197929 September 1979 Independent [14]
  Mohammad-Ali Rajaei A29 September 19796 November 1979 FMI [14]
Minister of Justice   Assadollah Mobashery 18 February 197920 June 1979 NF [14]
  Ahmad Sayyed Javadi 20 June 19796 November 1979 FMI [14]
Minister of National Defense   Ahmad Madani 22 February 19792 March 1979 NF [14] [15]
  Taghi Riahi 2 March 197918 September 1979 NF [15] [16]
  Mostafa Chamran 29 September 19796 November 1979 FMI [15]
Minister of Petroleum   Ali Akbar Moinfar 29 September 19796 November 1979 IAE [14]
Minister without Portfolio
for Revolutionary Projects
  Yadollah Sahabi 18 February 19796 November 1979 FMI [14]
Minister without Portfolio
for Plan and Budget
  Ali Akbar Moinfar 13 February 197929 September 1979 IAE [14]
  Ezzatollah Sahabi 29 September 19796 November 1979 FMI [14]
Minister without Portfolio
for Provincial Inspection
  Dariush Forouhar 29 September 19796 November 1979 NF [14]
Minister without Portfolio
for Executive Affairs
  Hossein Baniasadi 29 September 19796 November 1979 FMI
Deputy Prime Minister for
Physical Education
  Hossein Shah-Hosseini February 19796 November 1979 NF
Deputy Prime Minister for
  Abbas Samiei February 19796 November 1979 FMI


The Prime Minister and all members of his cabinet resigned en masse on 6 November 1979 after American Embassy officials were taken hostage two days earlier on 4 November 1979. In his letter to Khomeini, Bazargan stated that "...repeated interferences, inconveniences, objections and disputes have made my colleagues and me unable to continue [meeting] our duties ...".

Power then passed into the hands of the Revolutionary Council. Bazargan had been a supporter of the original revolutionary draft constitution rather than theocracy by Islamic jurist, and his resignation was received by Khomeini without protest, saying "Mr. Bazargan ... was a little tired and preferred to stay on the sidelines for a while." Khomeini later described his appointment of Bazargan as a "mistake". [17] Bazargan, on the other hand, described the government as a "knife without blade." [18]

See also

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  1. The Flag Bulletin, XX (3), The Flag Research Center, May–June 1981, ISSN   0015-3370, The development of new symbols in Iran was a slow process. Monuments and other visible expressions of imperial power, especially those associated personally with the deposed shah, were quickly eliminated; the imperial crown immediately disappeared from the war flag and ensign. Nevertheless other flags continued in use -- the civil flag and ensign (plain green-white-red stripes) and the state flag and ensign (the same stripes with the lion and sun in the center). The lion and sun also continued as the state arms
  2. The Flag Bulletin, XX (3), The Flag Research Center, May–June 1981, ISSN   0015-3370, The development of new symbols in Iran was a slow process. Monuments and other visible expressions of imperial power, especially those associated personally with the deposed shah, were quickly eliminated; the imperial crown immediately disappeared from the war flag and ensign. Nevertheless other flags continued in use -- the civil flag and ensign (plain green-white-red stripes) and the state flag and ensign (the same stripes with the lion and sun in the center). The lion and sun also continued as the state arms
  3. Sanam Zahir (2008), The Music of the Children of Revolution: The State of Music and Emergence of the Underground Music in the Islamic Republic of Iran with an Analysis of Its Lyrical Content, ProQuest, ISBN   9780549893073, A contrast to these two anthems is the song that was used during the revolution of 1979 as the de-facto national anthem of the transition period. This song, Ey Iran is argued here...
  4. Reza Safa (2006). The Coming Fall of Islam in Iran: Thousands of Muslims Find Christ in the Midst of Persecution. Charisma Media. p. 78. ISBN   9781591859888.
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  8. Mehdi Noorbaksh. "Mehdi Bazargan's Biography". Cultural Foundation of Mehdi Bazargan. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  9. Bayram Sinkaya (2015-06-19). The Revolutionary Guards in Iranian Politics: Elites and Shifting Relations. Routledge. p. 79. ISBN   9781317525646.
  10. چرا و چگونه بازرگان به نخست وزیری رسید؟ Archived 13 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine The commandment of Ayatollah Khomeini for Bazargan and his sermon on 5 February
  11. Khomeini, Sahifeh-ye Nur, vol. 5, p. 31, translated by Baqer Moin in Khomeini (2000), p. 204
  12. Arjomand, Turban for the Crown, (1988) p.135
  13. Ataie, Mohammad (Summer 2013). "Revolutionary Iran's 1979 endeavor in Lebanon". Middle East Policy. XX (2): 137–157. doi:10.1111/mepo.12026.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 Mohammad Heydari (2008), "اخراجی‌های دولت", Shahrvand Magazine (in Persian) (43)
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "کابینه بازرگان ترمیم شد", Iranian History (in Persian), retrieved 25 November 2016
  16. "تیمسار ریاحی از وزارت دفاع ملی استعفا داد", Iranian History (in Persian), retrieved 25 November 2016
  17. Moin, Khomeini,(2000), p. 222
  18. Lynn Berat (26 May 1995). Between States: Interim Governments in Democratic Transitions. Cambridge University Press. p. 132. ISBN   978-0-521-48498-5 . Retrieved 10 August 2013.
State of Iran
Preceded by
Pahlavi dynasty
Interim Government of Iran
Succeeded by
Islamic Republic
Cabinet of Iran
Preceded by
Cabinet of Bakhtiar
Cabinet of Bazargan
Succeeded by
Interim Cabinet of Revolutionary Council