President of Iran

President of Iran

The President of Iran is the highest elected official in the Islamic Republic of Iran, second only to the Supreme Leader. According to the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran the president is responsible for the "functions of the executive," such as signing treaties, agreements etc. with other countries and international organizations; the national planning and budget and state employment affairs; appointing ministers, governors, and ambassadors subject to the approval of the parliament. [ [ Iran - Constitution] Chapter IX, section 1 & 2 of the constitution]

Unlike many other countries, in Iran the president does not have full control over foreign policy, the armed forces, nuclear policy, or the main economic policies of the Iranian state, which are under the control of the Supreme Leader. [ [ Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] Accessed 5-23-2008, (see also Article 110 of the constitution)]

The President is elected for a four-year term by the direct vote of the people and may not serve for more than two terms. The current president is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Role in the state

Iran's president fulfills many of the classical functions of a head of state, such as accepting the credentials of ambassadors. Since a change in the constitution removed the post of Prime Minister and merged most of the prime ministerial duties with the President's in 1989, the once figurehead Presidential post has become a position of significant government influence. In addition, as the highest directly elected official in Iran, the President is responsive and responsible to public opinion in a way that the Supreme Leader is not. Although he is responsible to both people and the Supreme Leader, he is independent in his decisions and developing the policies of the government. The two terms of President Mohammad Khatami serve as an example of how independently a president can act in the Islamic Republic. Khatami changed many of the policies of the regime without the assistance of the Supreme leader, who often announced his indifference to the changes.

The President nominates the members of government to the Majlis (parliament). He has the power to dismiss any of the government members. The president appoints the secretary of national security council as well as the governors of the provinces and ambassadors of the Islamic Republic to other countries. Until recently, he had the power of appointing mayors of cities. However, the power was given to the cities local assemblies which are directly elected by the people and are directed by the parliament.

The President formulates the foreign policy through the National Security Council and after seeking Supreme Leader's approval. These policies are usually executed by Minister of Foreign Affairs in terms of general relationships with other nations and by Secretary General of the Security Council. The latter executes more important and critical issues such as the Nuclear Energy policies and huge economy decisions.

According to the constitution, the president can be dismissed and removed from office in two ways. First, when a judge reports a criminal record for the president and in this case, the Supreme Leader has the power to remove him from office. The other is when the Majlis decides his political ineligibility and again asks the Supreme Leader to remove him from office. This law was activated when the parliament voted against Iran's first president, Abolhassan Banisadr, and Ayatollah Khomeini removed him from office.

Qualifications and election

The President of Iran is elected for a four year term in a national election by universal adult suffrage for everyone of at least 18 years of age. [] Candidates for the presidency must be approved by the 12-member Council of Guardians. Half of the Council's members are appointed by the Supreme Leader and are intended to preserve the values of the Islamic Republic.

According to the constitution of Iran candidates for presidency must possessing the following qualifications:
*Iranian origin;
*Iranian nationality;
*administrative capacity and resourcefulness;
*a good pastrecord;
*trustworthiness and piety; and
*convinced belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official madhhab of the country. [ [ Constitution of Iran] Article 115 - Qualifications]

It is also alleged that

*Most of Iran's clerical elite demand that the candidate be male, but this is still a contentious issue (women have attempted to run before).fact|date=January 2008

Within these guidelines the Council vetoes candidates who are deemed unacceptable. The approval process is considered to be a check on the president's power, and usually amounts to a small number of candidates being approved. In the 1997 election, for example, only four out of 238 presidential candidates were approved by the council. Western observers have routinely criticized the approvals process as a way for the Council and Supreme Leader to ensure that only conservative and like-minded Islamic fundamentalists can win office. However, the council rejects the criticism, citing approval of reformists in previous elections. The council rejects most of the candidates stating that they are not "a well-known political figure", a requirement by the current law.

The President must be elected with a simple majority of the popular vote. A runoff election may be required to achieve this. The President serves for a term of four years and is eligible for a second term.

Presidential council

According to the Iranian constitution, when the President dies or is impeached, a special provisional "Presidential Council" temporarily rules in his place until an election can be held.

The President automatically becomes the Head of Council of Cultural Revolution and the Head of Council of National Security.

List of Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran (1980-Present)

ee also

*Politics of Iran
*Prime Ministers of Iran
*Iranian presidential election, 2005


External links

* [ The President's Office]
* [ Iran's Presidential Office of Scientific and Industrial Studies]
* [ Ahmadinejad's blog]

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