Iran has an Islamic Republic form of government. The political structure in Iran includes the President, the members of the Parliament, the representatives of the City and Village Councils, and members of the Experts Assembly.
Government in Iran is divided into three main branches:
The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution is the highest authority in Iran, who determines the general guidelines for functioning of the country. The President is the second highest authority and the head of the executive branch. The chief executive is elected directly for a term of four years and chooses the members of cabinet.
The parliament, known as the Majles Shoraye Eslami or the Islamic Parliament of Iran, is unicameral and is comprised of 290 members. Of the total members, 285 are directly elected and the remaining five seats are reserved for the minority groups, one each for Zoroastrians, Jews, Assyrian and Chaldean Christians, Armenian Christians in north south Iran. All the members of parliament are elected for a four-year term.
(Source: en.iran.ir, IPU)
Iran is ranked 171st in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom with an economic freedom score of 42.1 points. Iran ranks 16th out of 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The corruption perception index (CPI) is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide. Iran is ranked 146th on the index, indicating high level of corruption in public departments.
However, the CPI ranking of the country improved from 168th in 2009 to 146th in 2010, with a score of 1.8 and a confidence range of 1.7 to 1.9, indicating the decrease in perceived levels of corruption in the country.
Freedom of information
Iran is ranked 175th in the World Press Freedom Index 2010, with a score of 94.56, indicating that media in the country is highly restricted.
The press and media in Iran was comparatively free during President Khatamis’s government, but has since been targeted by conservatives. Thus, currently the government exercises censorship on all political and human rights’ websites.
There are around 20 national newspapers including:
- Tehran Times
- Iran Daily
- Iran News
- Aftab-e Yazd (Sun of Yazd)
- Kayhan (Universe)
- Resalat (Message)
- Jomhuri-ye-Eslami (Islamic Republic)
- Jaam-e Jam
(Source: rsf.org, BBC)
The judiciary is a separate and independent branch of government. The highest judicial authority is the Head of Judiciary, who is appointed by Leader of the State.
The Iranian court system includes:
- The Supreme Court - the Supreme Court is the highest court of justice. Chief of Supreme Court is elected by the Head of Judiciary after consultation with the Supreme Court judges
The Court of Administrative Justice – This court has jurisdiction on cases involving complaints against public institution and organisations
The Courts of Appeal - This court reviews cases decided by public and revolutionary courts
The Public Courts – This court deals with civil cases and criminal offences. Furthermore, it acts as the first instance tribunal
The Revolutionary Courts – This court handles cases dealing with crimes against national security, narcotic drugs, terrorism, state-related misappropriation, bribery and profiteering
The Military Courts – This court deals with cases related to military or security duties by members of the Armed Forces, the Police, and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps
Office of the Public Prosecutor – This court is responsible for pre-trial investigations and deals with cases where in there is strong evidence of crime to the courts
Dispute Resolution Councils – This court is responsible for settlement of minor civil and criminal cases