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Iran Government
Capital:
Tehran
Country name:
conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Iran
conventional short form: Iran
local short form: Iran
former: Persia
local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran
Government type:
theocratic republic
Administrative divisions:
28 provinces (ostanha, singular - ostan); Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi, Bushehr, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh va Buyer Ahmad, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan
Independence:
1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed)
National holiday:
Republic Day, 1 April (1979)
note: additional holidays celebrated widely in Iran include Revolution Day, 11 February (1979); Noruz (New Year's Day), 21 March; Constitutional Monarchy Day, 5 August (1925)
Constitution:
2-3 December 1979; revised 1989 to expand powers of the presidency and eliminate the prime ministership
Legal system:
the Constitution codifies Islamic principles of government
Suffrage:
15 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)
elections: leader of the Islamic Revolution appointed for life by the Assembly of Experts; president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 8 June 2001 (next to be held June 2005)
election results: (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani reelected president; percent of vote - (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani 77%
cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president with legislative approval; the Supreme Leader has some control over appointments to the more sensitive ministries
head of government: President (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani (since 3 August 1997); First Vice President Dr. Mohammad Reza AREF-Yazdi (since 26 August 2001)
Legislative branch:
unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majles-e-Shura-ye-Eslami (290 seats, note - changed from 270 seats with the 18 February 2000 election; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 20 February 2004 with a runoff held 7 May 2004 (next to be held February 2008)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - conservatives 196, reformers 48, independents 39, seats reserved for religious minorities 5, and 2 seats unaccounted for
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:
formal political parties are a relatively new phenomenon in the Islamic Republic and most conservatives still prefer to work through political pressure groups rather than parties; a loose pro-reform coalition called the 2nd Khordad front, which includes political parties as well as less formal pressure groups and organizations, achieved considerable success at elections to the sixth Majles in early 2000; groups in the coalition include: Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF); Executives of Construction Party (Kargozaran); Solidarity Party; Islamic Labor Party; Mardom Salari; Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO); and Militant Clerics Society (Ruhaniyun); the coalition is expected to participate in the seventh Majles elections in early 2004; a new apparently conservative group, the Builders of Islamic Iran, emerged at the local level in early 2003
Political pressure groups and leaders:
political pressure groups conduct most of Iran's political activities; groups that generally support the Islamic Republic include Ansar-e Hizballah, Muslim Students Following the Line of the Imam, Tehran Militant Clergy Association (Ruhaniyat), Islamic Coalition Association (Motalefeh), and Islamic Engineers Society; active pro-reform student groups include the Organization for Strengthening Unity; opposition groups include Freedom Movement of Iran, the National Front, Marz-e Por Gohar, and various ethnic and Monarchist organizations; armed political groups that have been almost completely repressed by the government include Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK), People's Fedayeen, Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, and Komala
International organization participation:
CP, ECO, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none; note - Iran has an Interests Section in the Pakistani Embassy; address: Iranian Interests Section, Pakistani Embassy, 2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007; telephone: [1] (202) 965-4990
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none; note - protecting power in Iran is Switzerland
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red; the national emblem (a stylized representation of the word allah in the shape of a tulip, a symbol of martyrdom) in red is centered in the white band; allah akbar (god is great) in white arabic script is repeated 11 times along the bottom edge of the green band and 11 times along the top edge of the red band
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