The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran advances the cultural, social, political, and economic institutions of Iranian society based on Islamic principles and norms, which represent an honest aspiration of the Islamic Ummah. This aspiration was exemplified by the nature of the great Islamic Revolution of Iran, and by the course of the Muslim people's struggle, from its beginning until victory, as reflected in the decisive and forceful calls raised by all segments of the populations. Now, at the threshold of this great victory, our nation, with all its beings, seeks its fulfillment.
The basic characteristic of this revolution, which distinguishes it from other movements that have taken place in Iran during the past hundred years, is its ideological and Islamic nature. After experiencing the anti-despotic constitutional movement and the anti-colonialist movement centered on the nationalization of the oil industry, the Muslim people of Iran learned from this costly experience that the obvious and fundamental reason for the failure of those movements was their lack of an ideological basis. Although the Islamic line of thought and the direction provided by militant religious leaders played an essential role in the recent movements, nonetheless, the struggles waged in the course of those movements quickly fell into stagnation due to departure from genuine Islamic positions. Thus it was that the awakened conscience of the nation, under the leadership of Imam Khumayni, came to perceive the necessity of pursuing a genuinely Islamic and ideological line in its struggles. And this time, the militant 'ulama' of the country, which had always been in the forefront of popular movements, together with the committed writers and intellectuals, found new impetus by following his leadership.
Article 1 Form of Government
The form of government of Iran is that of an Islamic Republic, endorsed by the people of Iran on the basis of their longstanding belief in the sovereignty of truth and Koranic justice, in the referendum of 29 and 30 March 1979, through the affirmative vote of a majority of 98.2% of eligible voters, held after the victorious Islamic Revolution led by Imam Khumayni.
Article 2 Foundational Principles
The Islamic Republic is a system based on belief in:
1) the One God (as stated in the phrase "There is no god except Allah"), His exclusive sovereignty and right to legislate, and the necessity of submission to His commands;
2) Divine revelation and its fundamental role in setting forth the laws;
3) the return to God in the Hereafter, and the constructive role of this belief in the course of man's ascent towards God;
4) the justice of God in creation and legislation;
5) continuous leadership and perpetual guidance, and its fundamental role in ensuring the uninterrupted process of the revolution of Islam;
6) the exalted dignity and value of man, and his freedom coupled with responsibility before God; in which equity, justice, political, economic, social, and cultural independence, and national solidarity are secured by recourse to:
a) continuous leadership of the holy persons, possessing necessary qualifications, exercised on the basis of the Koran and the Sunnah, upon all of whom be peace;
b) sciences and arts and the most advanced results of human experience, together with the effort to advance them further;
c) negation of all forms of oppression, both the infliction of and the submission to it, and of dominance, both its imposition and its acceptance.
Article 3 State Goals
In order to attain the objectives specified in Article 2, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has the duty of directing all its resources to the following goals:
1) the creation of a favorable environment for the growth of moral virtues based on faith and piety and the struggle against all forms of vice and corruption;
2) raising the level of public awareness in all areas, through the proper use of the press, mass media, and other means;
3) free education and physical training for everyone at all levels, and the facilitation and expansion of higher education;
4) strengthening the spirit of inquiry, investigation, and innovation in all areas of science, technology, and culture, as well as Islamic studies, by establishing research centers and encouraging researchers;
5) the complete elimination of imperialism and the prevention of foreign influence;
6) the elimination of all forms of despotism and autocracy and all attempts to monopolize power;
7) ensuring political and social freedoms within the framework of the law;
8) the participation of the entire people in determining their political, economic, social, and cultural destiny;
9) the abolition of all forms of undesirable discrimination and the provision of equitable opportunities for all, in both the material and the intellectual spheres;
10) the creation of a correct administrative system and elimination of superfluous government organizations;
11) all round strengthening of the foundations of national defense to the utmost degree by means of universal military training for the sake of safeguarding the independence, territorial integrity, and the Islamic order of the country;
12) the planning of a correct and just economic system, in accordance with Islamic criteria, in order to create welfare, eliminate poverty, and abolish all forms of deprivation with respect to food, housing, work, health care, and the provision of social insurance for all;
13) the attainment of self-sufficiency in scientific, technological, industrial, agricultural, and military domains, and other similar spheres;
14) securing the multifarious rights of all citizens, both women and men, and providing legal protection for all, as well as the equality63 of all before the law;
15) the expansion and strengthening of Islamic brotherhood and public cooperation among all the people;
16) framing the foreign policy of the country on the basis of Islamic criteria, fraternal commitment to all Muslims, and unsparing support to the freedom fighters of the world.
Article 4 Islamic Principle
All civil, penal financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and other laws and regulations must be based on Islamic criteria. This principle applies absolutely and generally to all articles of the Constitution as well as to all other laws and regulations, and the wise persons of the Guardian Council are judges in this matter.
Article 5 Office of Religious Leader
During the exultation of the Wali al-'Asr (may God hasten his reappearance), the leadership of the Ummah devolve upon the just and pious person, who is fully aware of the circumstances of his age, courageous, resourceful, and possessed of administrative ability, will assume the responsibilities of this office in accordance with Article 107.
Article 6 Administration of Affairs
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the affairs of the country must be administered on the basis of public opinion expressed by the means of elections, including the election of the President, the representatives of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, and the members of councils, or by means of referendum in matters specified in other articles of this Constitution.
Article 7 Consultative Bodies
(1) In accordance with the command of the Koran contained in the verse "Their affairs are by consultations among them" [42:38] and "Consult them in affairs" [3:159], consultative bodies -- such as the Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Provincial Councils, and the City, Region, District, and Village Councils and the likes of them -- are the decision-making and administrative organs of the country.
(2) The nature each of these councils, together with the manner of their formation, their jurisdiction, and scope of their duties and functions, is determined by the Constitution and laws derived from it.
Article 8 Community Principle
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, "al-'amr bilma'ruf wa al-nahy 'an al-munkar" is a universal and reciprocal duty that must be fulfilled by the people with respect to one another, by the government with respect to the people, and by the people with respect to the government. The conditions, limits, and nature of this duty will be specified by law. (This is in accordance with the Koranic verse "The believers, men and women, are guardians of one another; they enjoin the good and forbid the evil." [9:71])
Article 9 Independence Principle
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the freedom, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of the country are inseparable from one another, and their preservation is the duty of the government and all individual citizens. No individual, group, or authority, has the right to infringe in the slightest way upon the political, cultural, economic, and military independence or the territorial integrity of Iran under the pretext of exercising freedom. Similarly, no authority has the right to abrogate legitimate freedoms, not even by enacting laws and regulations for that purpose, under the pretext of preserving the independence and territorial integrity of the country.
Article 10 Family Principle
Since the family is the fundamental unit of Islamic society, all laws, regulations, and pertinent programs must tend to facilitate the formation of a family, and to safeguard its sanctity and the stability of family relations on the basis of the law and the ethics of Islam.
Article 11 Unity of Islam Principle
In accordance with the sacred verse of the Koran "This your community is a single community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me" [21:92], all Muslims form a single nation, and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran have the duty of formulating its general policies with a view to cultivating the friendship and unity of all Muslim peoples, and it must constantly strive to bring about the political, economic, and cultural unity of the Islamic world.
Article 12 Official Religion
The official religion of Iran is Islam and the Twelver Ja'fari school, and this principle will remain eternally immutable. Other Islamic schools are to be accorded full respect, and their followers are free to act in accordance with their own jurisprudence in performing their religious rites. These schools enjoy official status in matters pertaining to religious education, affairs of personal status (marriage, divorce, inheritance, and wills) and related litigation in courts of law. In regions of the country where Muslims following any one of these schools constitute the majority, local regulations, within the bounds of the jurisdiction of local councils, are to be in accordance with the respective school, without infringing upon the rights of the followers of other schools.
Article 13 Recognized Religious Minorities
Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians are the only recognized religious minorities, who, within the limits of the law, are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education.
Article 14 Non-Muslims' Rights
In accordance with the sacred verse "God does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with those who have not fought against you because of your religion and who have not expelled you from your homes" [60:8], the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and all Muslims are duty-bound to treat non-Muslims in conformity with ethical norms and the principles of Islamic justice and equity, and to respect their human rights. This principle applies to all who refrain from engaging in conspiracy or activity against Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran.