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Iran Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Iran
    conventional short form: Iran
    local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran
    local short form: Iran

    Data code: IR

    Government type: theocratic republic

    Capital: Tehran

    Administrative divisions: 25 provinces (ostanha, singular—ostan); Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi, Bushehr, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshahan, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kohkiluyeh va Buyer Ahmadi, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan
    note: there may be three new provinces named Golestan, Qom, and Qazvin

    Independence: 1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed)

    National holiday: Islamic Republic Day, 1 April (1979)

    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: Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)
    head of government: President (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani (since 3 August 1997); First Vice President Hasan Ebrahim HABIBI (since NA August 1989)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president with legislative approval
    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 23 May 1997 (next to be held NA May 2001)
    election results: (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani elected president; percent of vote—(Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani 69%

    Legislative branch: unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majles-e-Shura-ye-Eslami (270 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held 8 March and 19 April 1996 (next to be held NA March 2000)
    election results: percent of vote—NA; seats—NA

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court

    Political parties and leaders: since President KHATAMI's election in May 1997, several political parties have been licensed including Executives of Construction, Islamic Iran Solidarity Party, and Islamic Partnership Front; other important political groupings are: Tehran Militant Clergy Association [Secretary General Ayatollah Mohammad EMAMI-KASHANI]; Militant Clerics Association [Mehdi MAHDAVI-KARUBI and Mohammad Asqar MUSAVI-KHOINIHA]; Islamic Coalition Association [Habibollah ASQAR-OLADI]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: groups that generally support the Islamic Republic include Ansar-e Hizballah, Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution, Muslim Students Following the Line of the Imam, and the Islamic Coalition Association; opposition groups include the Liberation Movement of Iran and the Nation of Iran party; 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; the Society for the Defense of Freedom

    International organization participation: CCC, CP, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO

    Diplomatic representation in the US: none; note—Iran has an Interests Section in the Pakistani Embassy, headed by Fariborz JAHANSUZAN; 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 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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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)