Islamic Consultative Assembly

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Islamic Consultative Assembly

مجلس شورای اسلامی

Majles-e Showrā-ye Eslāmī
34th Majles
10th Islamic Consultative Assembly
Iran Parliament logo.png
FoundedNovember 16, 1906;112 years ago (1906-11-16)
March 14, 1980 (current form)
Preceded by National Consultative Assembly
New session started
28 May 2016
Ali Larijani (H; W)
since 28 May 2008
First Deputy
Masoud Pezeshkian (H; H)
since 29 May 2016
Second Deputy
Ali Motahari (PV/H; H)
since 31 May 2016
Wilayat fraction leader
Hamid-Reza Haji Babaee
since 23 October 2016
Mohammad Reza Aref
since 20 July 2016
Wilayi Independents fraction leader
Kazem Jalali
since 28 February 2017
Seats290 [1]
Islamic Consultative Assembly seating.svg
Political groups
Length of term
4 years [1]
Qualified majority two-round system [1]
Last election
26 February and 29 April 2016
Meeting place
Iranian Majlis.jpg
Islamic Consultative Assembly
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Coat of arms of Iran.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Government of Islamic Republic of Iran

The Islamic Consultative Assembly (Persian : مجلس شورای اسلامی, translit.  Majles-e Showrā-ye Eslāmī), also called the Iranian Parliament, the Iranian Majles (or Majlis), is the national legislative body of Iran. The Parliament currently has 290 representatives, changed from the previous 272 seats since the 18 February 2000 election. The most recent election took place on 26 February 2016 and the new parliament was opened on 28 May 2016. [2]

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.



Ancient Iran

The first recorded signs of a council to decide on different issues in ancient Iran dates back to 247 BC while the Parthian empire were in power. Parthians established the first Iranian empire since the conquest of Persia by Alexander and by their early years of reigning, an assembly of the nobles called “Mehestan” was formed that made the final decision on very serious issues. [3]

History of Iran aspect of history

The history of Iran, which was commonly known until the mid-20th century as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia, the Bosphorus, and Egypt in the west to the borders of Ancient India and the Syr Darya in the east, and from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south.

Parthian Empire Iranian empire ruled by Arsacids

The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. Its latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid-3rd century BC when he conquered the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy (province) under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. Mithridates I of Parthia (r. c. 171–138 BC) greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han dynasty of China, became a center of trade and commerce.

Greco-Persian Wars series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and poleis of the Hellenic world in the fifth century BC

The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to rule the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them. This would prove to be the source of much trouble for the Greeks and Persians alike.

The word "Mehestan" is consisted of two parts. "Meh", a word of the old Persian origin, which literally means "The Great" and "-stan", a suffix in the Persian language, which describes an especial place. Altogether Mehestan means a place where the greats come together. [4]

Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages. Old Persian appears primarily in the inscriptions, clay tablets and seals of the Achaemenid era. Examples of Old Persian have been found in what is now Iran, Romania (Gherla), Armenia, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt, with the most important attestation by far being the contents of the Behistun Inscription. Recent research (2007) into the vast Persepolis Fortification Archive at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago have unearthed Old Persian tablets, which suggest Old Persian was a written language in use for practical recording and not only for royal display.

In linguistics, a suffix is an affix which is placed after the stem of a word. Common examples are case ending, which indicate the grammatical cased of nouns or adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs.

The Mehestan Assembly, which consisted of Zoroastrian religious leaders and clan elders exerted great influence over the administration of the kingdom. [5]

One of the most important decisions of the council took place in 208 AD, when a civil war broke out and the Mehestan decided that the empire would be ruled by two brothers simultaneously, Ardavan V and Blash V. [6] In 224 AD, following the dissolve of the Parthian empire, after over 470 years, the Mahestan council came to an end.

Artabanus V of Parthia ruler of the Parthian Empire 216/224

Artabanus IV, also known as Ardavan IV, incorrectly known in older scholarship as Artabanus V, was the last ruler of Parthian Empire from c. 213 to 224. He was the younger son of Vologases V, who died in 208.

Imperial State of Iran

First Members of Parliament, 1906-1908 First Majlis MPs.jpg
First Members of Parliament, 1906–1908

Before the Islamic Revolution, Majlis was also the name of the lower house of the Iranian Legislature from 1906 to 1979, the upper house being the Senate.

Iranian Revolution Revolution in Iran to overthrow the Shah replace him with Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Iranian Revolution was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the 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.

A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.

An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. The house formally designated as the upper house is usually smaller and often has more restricted power than the lower house. Examples of upper houses in countries include the Australian Senate, Brazil's Senado Federal, the Canadian Senate, France's Sénat, Germany's Bundesrat, India's Rajya Sabha, Ireland's Seanad, Malaysia's Dewan Negara, the Netherlands' Eerste Kamer, Pakistan's Senate of Pakistan, Russia's Federation Council, Switzerland's Council of States, United Kingdom's House of Lords and the United States Senate.

It was created by the Iran Constitution of 1906 and first convened on 7 October 1906 (Iranian Calendar: 1285-Mehr-13), [7] soon gaining power under the rule of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Noteworthy bills passed by the Parliament under the Pahlavi Dynasty include the Oil Nationalization Bill (15 March 1951) and the Family Protection Law (1967), which gave women many basic rights such as custody of children in the case of divorce.

Women were not allowed to vote or be elected to the Parliament until 1963, as part of reforms under the Shah's "White Revolution". The twenty-first National Consultative Assembly, which included female representatives, opened on 6 October 1963.

The last session of the Pre-Revolution Parliament was held on 7 February 1979 (18 Bahman 1357 AP [7] ).

Islamic Republic of Iran

After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the Senate of Iran was abolished and was effectively replaced by the Guardian Council thus the Iranian legislature remained bicameral. In the 1989 revision of the constitution, the National Consultative Assembly became the Islamic Consultative Assembly.

The Parliament of Iran has had six chairmen since the Iranian Revolution. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was the first chairman, from 1980 to 1989. Then came Mehdi Karroubi (1989–1992), Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri (1992–2000), Mehdi Karroubi (2000–2004), Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel (2004–2008) and Ali Larijani since 2008.

Over its history the Parliament is said to have evolved from being "a debating chamber for notables," to "a club for the shah's placemen" during the Pahlavi era, to a body dominated by members of "the propertied middle class" under the Islamic Republic. [8] [9]

2017 attack

On 7 June 2017, there was shooting at the Iranian parliament and at the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini. [10] Gunmen opened fire at the Iranian Parliament and the mausoleum of religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran. The attack on the mausoleum has reportedly left 17 persons dead and more than 30 people injured. The parliament was attacked by four gunmen which left seven to eight people injured. Both attacks took place around the same time and appear to have been coordinated.


The Islamic Consultative Assembly can legislate laws on all issues within the limits of the Constitution. [11] The Assembly cannot, for instance, enact laws contrary to the canons and principles of the official religion of the country (Islam) or to the Constitution. [12]

Government bills are presented to the Islamic Consultative Assembly after receiving the approval of the Council of Ministers. [13]

The Islamic Consultative Assembly has the right to investigate and examine all the affairs of the country. [14]

International treaties, protocols, contracts, and agreements must be approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly. [15]

Receiving and issuing national or international loans or grants by the government must be ratified by the Islamic Consultative Assembly. [16]

The President must obtain, for the Council of Ministers, after being formed and before all other business, a vote of confidence from the Assembly. [17]

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. [18]

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. [19]


Currently, there are 290 members of Parliament, fourteen of whom represent non-Muslim religious minorities (4.8%), and are popularly elected for four-year terms. About 8% of the Parliament are women, while the global average is 13%. [20] The Parliament can force the dismissal of cabinet ministers through no-confidence votes and can impeach the president for misconduct in office. Although the executive proposes most new laws, individual deputies of the Parliament also may introduce legislation. Deputies also may propose amendments to bills being debated. The Parliament also drafts legislation, ratifies international treaties, and approves the national budget.

All People's House of Iran candidates and all legislation from the assembly must be approved by the Guardian Council. Candidates must pledge in writing that they are committed, in theory and in practice, to the Iranian constitution.


The Parliament currently has 207 constituencies, including a total of 5 reserved seats for the religious minorities recognized by the constitution. The rest of 202 constituencies are territorial and coincide with 1 or more of Iran's 368 Shahrestans . The largest electoral districts are:


Ali Larijani in his office of parliament chairman Ali Larijani in his office 14 August 2016.jpg
Ali Larijani in his office of parliament chairman

Members of Parliament elect their speaker and deputy speakers during the first session of Parliament for a one-year term. Every year, almost always in May, elections for new speakers are held in which incumbents may be re-elected.

The current Speaker of Parliament is Ali Larijani, with First Deputy Speaker Masoud Pezeshkian and Second Deputy Speaker Ali Motahari.


Current composition

The last elections of Parliament of Iran were held on 26 March 2016 with a second round will be held in April in those 71 districts where no candidate received 25% or more of the votes cast. More than 12,000 candidates registered but leaving about 6,200 candidates to run for the 290 seats representing the 31 provinces. The results indicate that the results would make a hung parliament with reformists having a plurality.


After 1979, the Parliament convened at the building that used to house the Senate of Iran. A new building for the Assembly was constructed at Baharestan Square in central Tehran, near the old Iranian Parliament building that had been used from 1906 to 1979. After several debates, the move was finally approved in 2004. The first session of the Parliament in the new building was held on 16 November 2004.

The old building is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 100 rial banknote. [21]

See also

Subordinate organizations

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Nohlen, Dieter; Grotz, Florian; Hartmann, Christof (2001). "Iran". Elections in Asia: A Data Handbook. I. Oxford University Press. p. 64. ISBN   0-19-924958-X.
  2. Large scale turn out at polls in IRI March Majlis Elections Archived 2 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine IRNA
  3. "Parthians' Achievements" . Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  4. "مهستان" . Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  5. HAMAZOR Publication of the World Zoroastrian Organisation: Will the issue of Dokhmenashini ever be resolved in the sub-continent?: ISSUE 3 2006. Page: 27
  6. HAMAZOR Publication of the World Zoroastrian Organisation: Will the issue of Dokhmenashini ever be resolved in the sub-continent?: ISSUE 3 2006. Page: 27
  7. 1 2 Mohammad Modarresi (2005). "An Introduction to the history of the Legislative Assembly In Iran: The First Parliament of the National Consultative Assembly (آشنایی با تاریخ مجالس قانونگذاری در ایران: دوره اول مجلس شورای ملی)" (PDF) (in Persian). The Research Center of Islamic Consultative Assembly (مرکز پژوهش‌های مجلس شورای اسلامی). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 June 2007.
  8. Abrahamian, History of Modern Iran, (2008), p. 179
  9. Islamic Majles, Ashnai-ye Ba Majles-e Showra-ye Islami, Vol.ii (Guide to the Islamic Majles, Tehran, 1992, p. 205
  10. "Iran shootings: Parliament and Khomeini shrine attacked". BBC News. 2017-06-07. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  11. Article 71 of the Constitution of Iran  (1982-07-28)
  12. Article 72 of the Constitution of Iran  (1982-07-28)
  13. Article 74 of the Constitution of Iran  (1982-07-28)
  14. Article 76 of the Constitution of Iran  (1982-07-28)
  15. Article 77 of the Constitution of Iran  (1982-07-28)
  16. Article 80 of the Constitution of Iran  (1982-07-28)
  17. Article 87 of the Constitution of Iran  (1982-07-28)
  18. Article 88 of the Constitution of Iran  (1982-07-28)
  19. Article 94 of the Constitution of Iran  (1982-07-28)
  20. "On Women's Day, struggle for equality remains". Kyiv Post. 8 March 2012. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012.
  21. Central Bank of Iran. Banknotes & Coins: 100 Rials. – Retrieved on 24 March 2009.

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from the Constitution of Iran, which is in the public domain.


Coordinates: 35°41′30.28″N51°26′04″E / 35.6917444°N 51.43444°E / 35.6917444; 51.43444