Iran flag Iran: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Iran

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
Supreme Leader: Ayatollah Ali Hoseini KHAMENEI (since June 1989)
President: Ebrahim RAISI (since 3 August 2021)
Next Election Dates
Presidential election: June 2025
Parliamentary election: 2028
Main Political Parties
Fundamentalist and conservative groups often dominate the political sphere in Iran. The Supreme Leader and lifetime officeholder, Ayatollah Khamenei, exerts enormous influence over the parliament.

The main political groups are:
- Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces (SHANA): conservative coalition of parties, right-wing
- Unity Council
- Voice of the Nation
- People's Alliance of Islamic Revolution
- Combatant Clergy Association

- Executives of Construction Party
- Front of Islamic Revolutionary Stability
- Islamic Coalition Party
- Militant Clerics Society (MRM)
- Moderation and Development Party
- National Trust Party (HEM)
- Progress and Justice Society
- Union of Islamic Iran People's Party.
Executive Power
The chief of state is the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution appointed for life time by the Assembly of Experts. The Supreme Leader is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, controls the military intelligence and security operations and has sole power to declare war. The head of the government is the President who is elected by popular vote for a four-year term. The Council of Ministers (cabinet) is selected by the President with legislative approval. The President enjoys executive powers, except for matters directly related to the Supreme Leader.
Legislative Power
The legislature is unicameral. The parliament consists of Islamic Consultative Assembly having 290 seats with its members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. The Parliament must get the laws validated by the Guardian Council which checks if the laws suggested do not go against Islamic principles. The Parliament has real powers in Iran. It can in particular decide the dismissal of a minister. The President of Iran cannot dissolve the parliament directly but he can make this recommendation to the Supreme Leader. The Guardian Council, an appointed and constitutionally mandated 12-member council with considerable power, can approve or veto legislative bills from the Islamic Consultative Assembly, supervises elections, and approves or forbids candidates seeking office to the Assembly of Experts, the Presidency and the parliament. Six of its twelve members are Islamic faqihs (experts in Islamic Law) selected by the Supreme Leader of Iran, and the other six are jurists nominated by the Head of the Judicial system (who is also appointed by the Supreme Leader), and approved by the Iranian Parliament.

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Not Free
Political Freedom:
Civil Liberties:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


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Latest Update: April 2024