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Civil Code of Iran (1928, as amended 1985; selected provisions related to women) – 3: On Marriage and Divorce

Article 1034 – It is lawful to ask for the hand of a woman to whose marriage there is no obstacle.

Article 1035 -A promise of marriage does not create the matrimonial relation even though the whole or some of the dowry fixed for payment at the time of marriage between the two parties may have been paid. Either the man or the woman, therefore, can, so long as the ceremonial act of marriage has not been pronounced, refuse the marriage and the other party cannot oblige her or him to contract the marriage or claim compensation for losses merely owing to the refusal.

Article 1036 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1037 – Every one of the betrothed parties can , if the proposed marriage is cancelled, claim the restitution of the presents given to the other party or to the parents for the marriage in question.
If the presents do not exist in original, the claimant is entitled to ask for their value of the presents which are ordinarily preserved unless the same presents have been destroyed without any fault of the party who was in their possession.

Article 1038 – The stipulation of the foregoing Article does not apply as far as it concerns the payment of equivalent value in a case where the proposed marriage does not take place in consequence of the death of one of the betrothed persons.

Article 1039 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1040- Each one of the parties concerned can, with a view to contracting marriage, ask the other party to produce a certificate of a doctor showing the freedom of the person concerned from serious contagious diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhoea and consumption.

Article 1041 – Marriage before the age, of majority is prohibited.
Note -Marriage before puberty by the permission of the Guardian and on condition of taking into consideration the ward’s interest is proper.

Article 1042 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1043 – The marriage of a girl who has not married previously is dependent on the permission of her father or her paternal grandfather even if she has reached the full age of majority . If, however, the father or the paternal grandfather withhold the permission without justifiable reason, the girl can refer to the Special Civil Court giving full particulars of the man whom she wants to marry and also the terms of the marriage and the dowry money agreed upon and notify her father or her paternal grandfather through that Court of the foregoing particulars The Court can issue a permission for marriage fifteen days after the date of notification to the guardian if no response has been received from the guardian to satisfy refusal.

Article 1044 – If the father or the paternal grandfather are not present in the place and obtaining their permission is customarily impossible and the girl is in need of marriage, she can marry. Note – Registration of such a marriage in the Marriage Registry shall be pending on proving the above – cited instances in the Special Civil Court.

Article 1045 – Marriage with the following relations by blood is forbidden, even if the relationship is based on mistake or adultery:
1- Marriage with father or grandfather, mother or grandmothers, or to their ancestors to whatever generation.
2 – Marriage with children, or descendants to whatever generation.
3 – Marriage with the brother and sister and their children, or their descendants to whatever generation.
4 – Marriage with one’s own paternal aunts and maternal aunts and those one’s father, mother, grandfathers and grandmothers.

Article 1046 – Foster – relationship is the same as relationship by blood as far as impediments to marriage are concerned, provided that:
Firstly – The milk of the woman takes its source from a legitimate conception. Secondly – The milk is sucked directly from the breast.
Thirdly – The child has at least had full milk for 24 hours (one night and on day) or for 15 consecutive times without taking in between any other food or milk of another woman.
Fourthly – The child has taken the milk before it has reached the full age of two years (from its birth): and
Fifthly – The milk taken by the child is from the same woman with the same husband. If, therefore, a child takes during twenty – four hours some milk from one woman and some from another, this fact does not debar marriage even if the two women have a common husband.
In the same way, if a woman has a foster – daughter and a foster – In the same way, if a woman has a foster-daughter and a foster – son whom she has milked each from the milk belonging to a separate husband, that son and daughter cannot be considered as foster brother and sister and their marriage is not prohibited for this reason.

Article 1047 – Marriage between the following persons is permanently forbidden because of relationship by marriage.
1 – Marriage, between a man and his mother – in. – law or his grand – mother – in – law of any degree, whether the relationship is by blood or foster – relationship
2 – Marriage between a man and woman who has formerly been the wife of his father or of one of his grandfathers, or of his son or of one his grandchildren even though the relationship may be of the foster kind
3 – Between a man with females of descent from his wife, no matter of what degree no exception being made even if the woman is a foster – relation, provided that the husband and wife have already consummated the marriage.

Article 1048 – Marrying of two sisters by the same by one man is forbidden even if the marriage of each one of them is of temporary nature.

Article 1049 – No one can marry the daughter of his brother – in – law or the daughter of his sister – in – law unless his wife permits him to do so.

Article 1050 – Every person who marries a woman knowing of the existence of marriage ties binding the wife and of prohibition of his own marriage with that woman, or who marries a woman who has not yet passed the period of “uddeh” of divorce or of death, with knowledge of the existence of the “uddeh” and the prohibition of the marriage, his marriage will be null and void and the woman in question will definitely and permanently be incapable of becoming the wife of that man.

Article 1051 – The provisions of the foregoing Article will also be applicable in the case where the marriage was solemnized with ignorance of all or some of the facts mentioned in the foregoing Article, and the marriage has been consummated. In the case of ignorance, but where matrimonial relations have not taken place, the marriage will be null and void but marriage between the two does not become permanently prohibited.

Article 1052 – Separation caused by a solemn imprecation (li’an) involves a permanent bar to the marriage of the parties concerned. Article 1053 – A marriage contract will not be valid while the party concerned is covered with the pilgrimage garment . If the party concerned marries with knowledge of the fact that such a marriage is prohibited, the marriage will be barred forever.

Article 1054 – Adultery with a married woman who has not yet passed the period of uddeh, will entail a permanent bar to the marriage of the parties concerned.

Article 1055 – Sexual intercourse by mistake or by adultery if preceding marriage is tantamount to the existence of marriage as far as prohibition of marriage is concerned but cannot cause cancellation of the former marriage.

Article 1056 – One who perpetrates a shameful act on a boy cannot marry his mother, sister, or daughter.

Article 1057 – A woman who has been the wife of a man for three consecutive times and has been divorced each time will become unlawful as wife to that man unless she is married by permanent marriage to another man and, after matrimonial relations with that man, separation occurs between them by divorce or cancellation of the marriage or death.

Article 1058 – The wife of a person who has been divorced from him nine times, six of which were revocable divorce, will be illegal as wife to that man for ever.

Article 1059 – Marriage of a female Moslem with a non – Moslem is not allowed.

Article 1060 – Marriage of an Iranian woman with a foreign national is dependent , even in cases where there is no legal impediment, upon special permission of the Government.

Article 1061 – The Government can make the marriage of certain Government servants and officials and students supported by the Government with a female foreign national dependent upon special permission.

Article 1062 – Marriage takes place by proposal and acceptance in words which explicitly convey the intention of marriage.

Article 1063 – The proposal and acceptance may be uttered by the man and woman themselves or by persons who are legally entitled to perform the act.

Article 1064 – The person who performs the act must be sane in mind, of legal age, and capable of forming, a decision.

Article 1065 – It is a necessary for the validity of a marriage that acceptance should follow close upon proposal, in accordance with custom.

Article 1066 – If one or both of the parties to the marriage are dumb, the ceremony can be conducted by signs made by the dumb person or persons provided that the signs clearly convey the intention of entering into the contract of marriage.

Article 1067 – It is a necessary condition for the validity of a marriage that the wife and husband should be so declared that neither party is in doubt as to the identity of the other.

Article 1068 – Making marriage conditional will render it void.

Article 1069 – A provision in the marriage contract reserving the right of cancellation of the contract, if made, will be null and void. But in a permanent marriage, a provision entitling one of the parties withhold the dowry is permissible provided that duration of this is definitely mentioned . After cancellation of the grant of dowry (sudaq) the situation will be as if no dowry is mentioned in the contract of marriage.

Article 1070- Consent of the marrying parties is the condition upon which depends the enforcement of the marriage contract, and if a party showing at first reluctance authorises the making of the contract subsequently, the contract will be binding unless the reluctance is so acute that the reluctant person cannot be considered as having been in possession of any intention.

Article 1071 – Either the man or woman can depute a third party with power to contract the marriage.

Article 1072 – If power is given without conditions as to the identity of the, husband, the attorney cannot himself marry his principal under that power unless this permission is explicitly given to him in the power of attorney.

Article 1073 – If the attorney does not observe what his principal has laid down in connection with the person or the dowry or other particulars, the authenticity of the marriage will depend upon corroboration from the principal.

Article 1074 – The provisions of the preceding Article will also be binding where the power was without any reservation and the attorney did not act according to the best interests of his principal.

Article 1075 – Marriage is called temporary when it is for a limited period of time. Article 1076 – The duration of the temporary marriage must be definitely determined.

Article I077 – In the case of temporary marriage , provisions concerning inheritance of the wife and her dowry are the same as fixed in the Chapter on inheritance’ and in the following Chapter.

Article 1078 – Anything which can be called property and which can be owned and possessed can be designated as a marriage portion.

Article 1079 – The marriage portion must be known to the marrying parties to the extent that their ignorance is removed.

Article 1080 – Fixing of the amount of marriage portion depends upon the mutual consent of the marrying parties.

Article 1081 – If a condition is laid in the marriage act that if the marriage portion is not paid within a fixed period that marriage will be cancelled, the marriage and the marriage portion will remain binding and authentic but the condition will be null and void.

Article 1082 – Immediately after the performance of the marriage ceremony the wife becomes the owner of the marriage portion and can dispose of it in any way and manner that she may like.

Article 1083 – A duration of time or instalments can be fixed for the payment of the marriage portion, as a whole or in parts.

Article 1084 – If the marriage portion consists of a designated property and it is found out that before the celebration of the marriage, that property was defective, or that after the marriage celebration and before the delivery of the property it becomes defective or it was destroyed

Article 1085 – So long as the marriage portion is not delivered to her, the wife can refuse to fulfil the duties which she has to her husband provided, however, that the marriage portion is payable at once. This refusal does not debar her from right of maintenance expenses.

Article 1086 -If the wife proceeds to fulfil the duties that she has towards her husband by her own free will, she cannot subsequently avail herself of the provisions of the foregoing Article, but never the less she will not forfeit the right that she has for demanding the payment of the marriage portion due to her.

Article 1087 – If a marriage portion is not mentioned, or if the absence of marriage portion is stipulated in a permanent marriage, that marriage will be authentic and the parties to it can fix the marriage portion subsequently by mutual consent. If previous to this mutual consent matrimonial intercourse takes place between them, the wife will be entitled to the marriage portion ordinarily due.

Article 1088 – In the case of the foregoing Article, if one of the marrying parties dies before the fixing of the marriage portion and before the consummation of marriage, the wife will not be entitled to any marriage portion.

Article 1089 – Authority for fixing the marriage portion can be entrusted to the husband or a third party, in which case both of them can fix it at any amount they may wish.

Article 1090 – If the authority for fixing the marriage portion is vested in the wife, she cannot fix an amount which exceeds reasonable marriage portion.

Article 1091 – In fixing of the reasonable marriage portion the status of the wife in respect of her family’s station and other circumstances and peculiarities concerning her in comparison with her equals and relatives and also the customs of the locality, etcetera, must be considered.

Article 1092 -If the husband divorces his wife before the consummation of marriage, the wife be entitled to half of the marriage portion and if the husband has already paid more than half of the marriage portion he has the right to demand the return of the surplus, in original, in the equivalent, or in va1ue.

Article 1093 – If no marriage portion is mentioned in the act of marriage and the husband divorces his wife before the consummation of marriage and the fixing of the marriage portion, the wife is entitled to a reasonable marriage portion, and if she is divorced after the consumption of marriage, she will be entitled to the equivalent of marriage portion.

Article 1094- The status of the man in respect of wealth or poverty will be considered in fixing the reasonable marriage portion.

Article 1095 – Absence of marriage portion in the act of a temporary marriage will render the contract void.

Article 1096 – The death of the wife in a temporary marriage during the period of marriage will not cause the forfeiture of the marriage portion; the same will be true if the husband did not have any relations with her up to the end of the period of the marriage.

Article 1097 – If the husband waives his rights to the whole period of marriage in a temporary marriage before having any relations with the wife, he must pay half of the marriage portion.

Article 1098 – If the marriage, whether temporary or permanent, was void, and there has not been any matrimonial relations, the wife will not be entitled to any marriage portion and the husband can demand the refund of the marriage portion if it has been settled

Article 1099 – If the wife was ignorant of the fact that the marriage was unauthentic, and if in such case matrimonial relations have occurred, the wife will be entitled to a reasonable marriage portion.

Article 1100 – If the specified marriage portion is unknown or if it is not of such a nature that it can be owned or if it belongs to reasonable marriage portion and in the third case to the equivalent of the value of the property which proved to be that of a third party, unless the latter authorizes the transfer.

Article 1101 – If the marriage is cancelled before matrimonial relations for any reason, the wife is not entitled to any marriage portion . If the reason of cancellation is impotency, the wife will be entitled to half the marriage portion notwithstanding the cancellation of the marriage.

Article 1102 -As soon as marriage takes place in due form, relations of matrimony will automatically exist between the marrying parties and rights and reciprocal duties of husband and wife will be established between them.

Article 1103 – Husband and wife are bound to establish friendly relations.

Article 1104 – Husband and wife must cooperate with each other for the welfare of their family and the education of their children.

Article 1105- In relations between husband and wife; the position of the head of the family is the exclusive right of the husband.

Article 1106 – The cost of maintenance of the wife is at the charge of the husband in permanent marriages.

Article 1107 – Cost of maintenance includes dwelling, clothing, food, furniture in proportion to the situation of the wife, on a reasonable basis, and provision of a servant if the wife is accustomed to have servants or if she needs one because of illness or defects of limbs.

Article 1108 – If the wife refuses to fulfil duties of a wife without legitimate excuse, she will not be entitled to the cost of maintenance.

Article 1109 – Cost of maintenance of a divorced wife during the period of “uddeh” is to be borne by the husband, unless the divorce has taken place because of disobedience . But if the uddeh arises from the cancellation of the marriage or a final divorce, the wife is not entitled to cost of maintenance, unless she is with child from her husband in which case she 1 be entitled to cost of maintenance till her child is born.

Article 1110 – The wife is not entitled to cost of maintenance if she is passing through the uddeh period due to the death of her husband.

Article 1111 – The wife can refer to the court if her husband refuses to provide for her maintenance. In such a case the court will fix the amount and will compel the husband to pay it.

Article 1112 – If the enforcement of the provisions of the foregoing Article is impossible , the provisions of Article 1129 must be followed.

Article 1113 – In the case of a temporary marriage the wife is not entitled to the cost of maintenance, unless provision has been specially made for this, or the marriage has been arranged on this condition

Article 1114- The wife must stay in the dwelling that the husband allots for her unless such a right is reserved to the wife.

Article 1115 – If the existence of the wife and husband in the same house involves the risk of bodily or financial injury or that to the dignity of the wife, she can choose a separate dwelling: and if the alleged risk is proved the court will not order her to return to the house of the husband and, so long as she is authorized not to return to the house, her cost of maintenance will be on the charge of her husband.

Article 1116 – In the case of the foregoing Article, so long as litigation is not concluded between the married couple, the dwelling of the wife will be fixed by mutual consent of both parties and failing such consent, the court will fix the dwelling after duly obtaining the views of near relatives, and in the absence of relatives the court itself will fix a suitable dwelling.

Article 1117 – The husband can prevent his wife from occupations or technical work which is incompatible with the family interests or the dignity of himself or his wife.

Article 1118 – The wife can independently do what she likes with her own property.

Article 1119 – The parties to the marriage can stipulate any condition to the marriage which is not incompatible with the nature of the contract of marriage, either as part of the marriage contract or in another binding contract: for example, it can be stipulated that if the husband marries another wife or absents him self during a certain period, or discontinues the payment of cost of maintenance, or attempts the life of his wife or treats her so harshly that their life together becomes unbearable, the wife has the power, which she can also transfer to a third party by power of attorney to obtain a divorce herself after establishing in the court the fact that one of the foregoing alternatives has occurred and after the issue of a final judgment to that effect.

Article 1120 – Marriage may be dissolved by cancellation, by divorce, or by waiver of the remaining period in the case of a temporary marriage.

Article 1121 – Madness of either of the married couple, provided that it is settled, whether it is permanent or recurrent, will give the other person the right of cancellation.

Article 1122 – The following defects in man will give the woman the right to cancel the marriage
1 – Castration.
2 – Impotency, provided he has not even once performed the matrimonial act.
3 – Amputation of the sexual organ to the extent that he is unable to perform his marital duty.

Article 1123 – The following defects in a wife bring about the right for a man to cancel the marriage:
1 – Protrusion of the womb (qaran).
2 – Black leprosy (juzam).
3 – Leprosy (baras).
4 – Connection of the vaginal and anal passages (ifza).
5 – Being crippled.
6 – Being blind in both eyes.

Article 1124 – The defects of the wife entitle the man to a right of cancellation of marriage if they existed at the time of marriage.

Article 1125 – Madness and impotency create the right for the wife to cancel the marriage even if they occur after the date of the marriage.

Article 1126 – Any one of the married couple who was cognisant of the existence of the defects above mentioned in the other party before the marriage was celebrated , has no right after that date to cancel the marriage.

Article 1127 – If the husband contracts a venereal disease after the performance of the marriage act, the wife have the right to refuse to have any sexual relations with him and this refusal will not debar her from the right to cost of maintenance.

Article 1128 – If a special qualification is mentioned , as a condition of the marriage, to exist in one of the marrying parties and if after the marriage it is found out that the party concerned lacks the desired qualification, the other party has the right to cancel the marriage.
The foregoing is true whether the qualification is mentioned explicitly in the marriage contract or whether the marriage has been performed with the qualification understood mutually by the parties concerned.

Article 1129 – If the husband refuses to pay the cost of maintenance of his wife, and if it is impossible to enforce a judgment of the court and to induce him to pay the expenses, the wife can refer to the judge applying for divorce and the judge will compel the husband to divorce her.
The same stipulation will be binding in a case where the husband is unable to provide for the maintenance of the wife.

Article 1130 – In the following circumstances, the wife can refer to the Islamic judge and request for a divorce. When it is proved to the Court that the continuation of the marriage causes difficult and undesirable conditions, the judge can for the sake of avoiding harm and difficulty compel the husband to, divorce his wife. If this cannot be done, then the divorce will be made on the permission of the Islamic judge.

Article 1131 – The option of cancellation of marriage must be exercised immediately and, if the party who is entitled to the option does not cancel the marriage after becoming cognisant of the reason upon which he could cancel the marriage, he forfeits the option, provided also that he had full knowledge of the existence of the option and its urgent character. Determination of the duration of time during which the option can remain valid depends upon custom and usage.

Article 1132 – The observance of the arrangements stipulated in the case of a divorce is not obligatory in a case of cancellation of marriage.

Article 1133 – A man can divorce his wife whenever he wishes to do so.

Article 1134- The divorce must be performed in the actual form of utterance and in the presence of at least two just men who must hear the actual form of divorce.

Article 1135 – Divorce must be in clear and precise wording, a conditional divorce is null and void.

Article 1136 – The divorcer must be of legal, must be in possession of his faculties, must intend the act and must be free in his action.

Article 1137 – The guardian of a permanently made person, can divorce the wife of the latter if the interests of the person under his custody allow him to do so.

Article 1138 – The actual ritual utterance of the divorce can be performed by an attorney.

Article 1139 – Divorce is specially appointed for cases of permanent marriage: a temporary wife is relieved from marriage by the expiry of the period of marriage or by waiver of the remaining period by her husband.

Article 1140- It is not proper to divorce a wife during her monthly period or during the convalescent period after childbirth unless when the wife is pregnant or when the divorce occurs before matrimonial relations with her, or when the husband is absent so that he cannot obtain information concerning her monthly period.

Article 1141 – It is not proper to divorce a wife between two monthly periods during which intercourse has taken place unless the wife is pregnant or is incapable of conception.

Article 1142- The divorce of a wife who although of child – bearing age has no monthly period, will be valid only when three months have passed from the date of the last matrimonial relations with her.

Article 1143 – The are two forms of divorce, irrevocable divorce and revocable divorce.

Article 1144 – After an irrevocable divorce the husband has not the right to renounce his intention of divorcing.

Article 1145 – A divorce is irrevocable in the following instances
1 – A divorce performed before the occurrence of matrimonial relations
2- Divorce of a wife who is incapable of conception.
3 – (a) a divorce which a wife achieves by giving a consideration to her husband and (Khul’a) and (b) a divorce by mutual consent (mubarat), as long as the wife has not demanded the return of the consideration.
4 – A third divorce, performed after three consecutive marriages (of the same parties) whether by mere renouncement by the husband of his desire to divorce the wife or by a new marriage between the two parties.

Article 1146 – A Khul’a divorce occurs when the wife obtains a divorce owing to dislike of her husband, against property which she cedes to the husband. The property in question may consist of the original marriage portion, or the monetary equivalent thereof, whether more or less than the marriage portion.

Article 1147 – A “Mubarat” divorce occurs when the dislike is mutual in which case the compensation must not be more than the marriage portion.

Article 1148 – The husband has the right to renounce divorce in a revocable divorce provide the period of “Iddah” has not expired.

Article 1149 – Return to the wife after divorce can be effected by any word or deed which may convey the idea, provided that it is based on an intention to do so.

Article 1150 – Iddah consists of a period during which a woman whose matrimonial bond has been dissolved cannot marry.

Article 1151 – The period of Iddah for a divorce or for the dissolution of a marriage consists of three consecutive monthly periods of a woman unless the woman concerned though of child bearing age has no monthly period, in which case the period of Iddah will be three months.

Article 1152 – The period of Iddah for divorce or dissolution of marriage or waiver of the remaining period or its expiry in the case of temporary marriage for a non – pregnant woman is the expiry of two monthly periods unless contrary to the nature of her age, she no such periods, in which case the period will be 45 days.

Article 1153 – The period of Iddah for divorce or dissolution of marriage act or waiver or expiry of the period of marriage in the case of a woman who is pregnant will be until she given birth to a child.

Article 1154- The period of Iddah in the case of death (of husband) in both permanent and temporary marriages will be four months and ten days, unless the wife is pregnant when the uddeh comes to an end with the birth of the child provided that the interval between the death of the husband and the birth of the child is longer than four months and 10 days: if not, the period of uddeh will be the same four months and 10 days.

Article 1155 – There is no Iddah in the case of a wife who has not had any matrimonial intercourse with her husband, or in the case of a wife beyond the age of conception who is not affected by any uddeh for divorce or for dissolution of marriage. But the uddeh for death must be observed in both cases.

Article 1156 – The wife of a continuously absent husband whose whereabouts are unknown, if divorced by a judge, must observe uddah for death, starting from the date on which the divorce was granted

Article 1157- A woman who has had matrimonial relations by way of mistake with someone must observe the uddah laid down in cases of divorce.

Next: Chapter 4- On Children

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Civil Code of Iran (1928, as amended 1985; selected provisions related to women) – 4: On Children

Article 1158 – Any child born during married life belongs to the husband provided that the interval between intercourse and the birth of the child is not less than 6 months and not more than 10 months.

Article 1159 – Any child born after the dissolution of marriage belongs to the husband provided that the mother has not yet married again and that not more.

Article 1160 – If the marriage is dissolved after matrimonial intercourse and the wife has married again and a child is born to be, the child belongs to the husband who can be identified as the child’s father according to the foregoing Articles. If the child could be attributed to both husbands according to the foregoing Articles, the child belongs to the second husband unless definite indications show otherwise.

Article 1161 – In the cases coming under the foregoing Articles, if the husband has explicitly or implicitly admitted that he is the father, his subsequent denial of this will be of no validity.

Article 1162 – In the cases coming under the foregoing Article, the plea of repudiation of the child can only be preferred within the delay ordinarily admissible for the preferment of such claims after the father known of the birth of the child. The plea will in any case not be heard after the expiry of two months from the date that the husband was informed of the birth of the child.

Article 1163 – In a case where the husband did not know the real date of birth of the child and was misguided by a wrong date according to which the child would belong to him and when the husband is informed subsequently of the real date of birth, the period of limitation for the plea of repudiation of the child is two months from the date on which he discovered the fraud.

Article 1164 – The provisions of the foregoing Articles will also be applicable in the case of a child born from sexual intercourse when one party was in error as to the other’s identity , although the mother may not have made any mistake.

Article 1165 – A child born after such mistaken sexual intercourse will belong to the party who made a mistake and if both parties were in error child belongs to both of them.

Article 1166 – If marriage between the parents of a child is illegitimate owing to the existence of any legal impediment, the relation of the child to that one of the parents who was ignorant of the existence of the impediment is legitimate, and its relation to the other party is illegitimate. If both parents were ignorant of the impediment, the relationship of both of them to the child is legitimate.

Article 1167 – A child born of adultery shall not belong to the adulterer.

Article 1168 – Maintenance of children is both the right and duty of the parents.

Article 1169 – A mother has preference over others for two years from the birth of her child for the custody of the child and after the lapse of this period custody will devolve on the father expect in the case of a daughter who will remain under the custody of the mother till 7 years.

Article 1170 – If the mother becomes insane or marriage another man during her period of custody, the custody will devolve on the father.

Article 1171-If one of the parents dies, the custody will be the duty of the surviving although the deceased be the father and he may have appointed a guardian for the child.

Article 1172 – Neither of the parents can refuse to maintain the child during the time when he or she is responsible for its custody If he or she does so, the court must induce him or her, on application by the other party or the guardian or one of the relatives or the Public Prosecutor, to assume the custody . If such enforcement is impossible or ineffective the court must arrange the custody at the expense of the father, or of the mother in the event of the death of the former.

Article 1173 – If the physical health or moral education of the child is endangered as a result of carelessness or moral degradation of the father or mother who are in charge of its custody the court can take any decision appropriate for the custody of the child on the request of its relatives or its guardian or the Public Prosecutor.

Article 1174 – If the parents of the child do not live in the same house owing to divorce or any other reason, either of the parents who is not in charge of custody of the child has the right to visit the child. Determination of the time and place of visit and other particulars will be decided by the court if there is any dispute between the parents about them.

Article 1175 – A child cannot be taken from the parents or the father or the mother who is in charge of its custody except in cases where just fiction exists for doing so.

Article 1176 – The mother is not obliged to suckle the child unless the child cannot be fed except with the milk of its mother.

Article 1177 – A child must obey its parents and must respect them whatever its age.

Article 1178 Parents are bound to take such measures as circumstances and their means allow for the education of their children. They must not leave their talents undeveloped.

Article 1179 – Parents are entitled to punish their children but they must not abuse this right by punishing their children beyond the limits of correction.

Article 1180 – A minor child is under the guardianship of its father or paternal grandfather. Such is also the case with a immature or insane child provided that the immaturity or mental unfitness continues from the age of minority.

Article 1181 – Either the father or the paternal grandfather has the right of guardianship over his children.

Article 1182 – If the child has both father and paternal grandfather and one of them becomes himself incapacitated or is prevented by some reason or other from administering the estate of his ward, his legal guardianship will cease.

Article 1183 – In all matters pertaining to the estate, and the civil and financial concerns of the ward, the guardian will be his or her legal representative.

Article 1184 -If the natural guardian of the child is unworthy of the administration of the estate of his ward or if he misappropriates property, the court will, on application by the relatives of the child or on the request of the Public Prosecutor who has to be a party to the suit, and after the establishment of the incapacity or dishonesty of the guardian, also appoint a financial trustee to work with the guardian. This provision will be applicable in a case where the guardian of the child is unable to administer the estate of his ward owing to old age or sickness or similar reasons.

Article 1185 – If the natural guardian of the child becomes incapacitated, the Public Prosecutor is obliged to appoint a guardian for the child according to the regulations governing the nomination of guardians.

Article 1186 – In cases where strong indications exist showing the dishonesty of the natural guardian in respect of the estate of his ward, the Public Prosecutor is obliged to apply to the Court of First Instance requesting that his actions may be investigated. The court will examine the complaint and will act according to Article 1184 if his dishonesty is proved.

Article 1187 – If the only natural guardian of a child cannot administer the estate of his ward owing to absence or imprisonment or owing to any other reason, and if he has not nominated anyone else to represent him, the court will appoint provisionally a guardian on the proposal of the Public Prosecutor for taking charge of the estate and attending to all matters pertaining to it.

Article 1188 – Either the father or the paternal grandfather can appoint after the death of the other, an executor for the child under his guardianship in order that the executor may attend, after his death, to the bringing up and the education of the children and may administer their estate

Article 1189- Neither the father nor the paternal grandfather can appoint an executor for his ward while the other is still living.

Article 1190 – A father or paternal grandfather can authorize the guardian to nominate another guardian for his ward after the guardian’s death.

Article 1191 – If the guardian appointed by the natural guardian does not take steps for the maintenance or the education of his ward or for the administration of his estate or if he abstains from fulfilling his duties he will be discharged.

Article 1192 – A Moslem guardian cannot appoint a non – Moslem guardian for his ward.

Article 1193- As soon as a child reaches the age of maturity, he will cease to be under ward ship and if he becomes subsequently mentally deficient or insane, a guardian will be appointed for him.

Article 1194- The father, the paternal grandfather and the guardian appointed by one of them will be called the “special guardian” of the child.

Next: Chapter 5 – On Family

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Civil Code of Iran (1928, as amended 1985; selected provisions related to women) – 5: On Family

Article 1195 – Provisions for the maintenance of the wife are those stipulated in Chapter 1, Part 1 of Book 7 and those stipulated in this Chapter.

Article 1196 – Only relatives by blood in a direct line ascending or descending are under reciprocal obligation to provide maintenance for each other.

Article 1197- A person is entitled to maintenance expenses if he or she is poor and cannot earn a living by adopting an occupation.

Article 1198 – A man is only obliged to maintain another if he is in a position to do so, that is to say he can provide such maintenance without thereby causing himself distress. To determine whether a man can maintain another his obligations and his manner of life must be taken into consideration.

Article 1199 – Maintenance of children is the duty of the father on his death or his incapacity for maintenance, this duty devolves on the paternal grandfathers, the nearer of his kin coming before the father. In the absence of a father or paternal grandfathers or in the event of their incapacity, the duty of maintenance devolves on the mother.
If the mother is dead also or is unable to maintain the child, the duty will devolve on maternal grandfathers and the grandmothers and paternal grandmother who are sufficiently wealthy to provide maintenance, giving preference to the nearer of kin over the father. If a number of the grandparents are similar in degree of kinship, the maintenance expenses must be paid by them in equal shares.

Article 1200 – Maintenance expenses of parents must be paid by the nearest related child or grandchild in the order of kinship.

Article 1201 – If a person has relatives both ascending and descending in the direct line who are equally under an obligation to provide for his living, the relatives in question must share the expenses in equal shares. It follows therefore that if the person who is to be maintained has father, mother and direct children his expenses should be shared in equal portions by his father and children, without the mother being required to pay any share. In a like manner if a person who is to be maintained has a mother and direct children, his expenses must be borne in equal shares by the mother and the children.

Article 1202 – If the relatives who are to be maintained are numerous and the supporter cannot pay for them all, the claim of the relatives in the descending direct line has priority over that of relatives in the ascending direct line.

Article 1203 – If there are a wife and one or more relatives who are to be supported, the claim to support of the wife precedes that of others.

Article 1204 – Maintenance of relatives consists of providing dwelling, clothing, food and furniture to the extent of bare necessities and subject to the means of the person who provides the maintenance.

Article 1205 – In cases of absence or refusal to pay maintenance, if it is impossible to oblige the person whose duty it is to pay the maintenance, the court can, when persons entitled to maintenance bring claim, place from the assets of the absentee or the refuser, amount of the maintenance , at their own disposal or at the dispose of their supporter (s): and in the event that the assets of the absentee or the refuser are not available, his wife or another person may on the court’s authorization pay the maintenance as loan and claim it from the absentee or the refuser.

Article 1206 – A wife can always and in any case prefer a claim for her past expenses, and her right to these expenses is preferential. In the event of bankruptcy or insolvency of the husband her dues must be paid before any liquidation payment is arranged. Relatives, however, entitled to provision of maintenance expenses can claim only their expenses for a future period.

Next: Chapter 6 – Regarding Guardianship and Tutorship

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Civil Code of Iran (1928, as amended 1985; selected provisions related to women) – 6: Regarding Guardianship and Tutorship

Article 1207 – The following persons are considered as under disability and are forbidden to take possession of their property and their pecuniary rights:
1 – Minor children.
2 – Persons who have not matured.
3 – Lunatics.

Article 1208 – By the words “persons who have not matured” is meant persons whose method of dealing in their property and rights is not in accordance with reason.

Article 1209 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1210 – No one, when reaching the age of majority, can be treated as under disability in respect of insanity or immaturity unless his immaturity or insanity is proved.
Note 1 – the age of majority for boys is fifteen lunar years and for girls nine lunar years.
Note 2 – The properties which had belonged to a minor who has now reached the age of majority may be given to him only if it has been proved that he has full legal capacity.

Article 1211 -Lunacy, to whatever degree, incurs disability.

Article 1212 – The acts and words of minor children are null and void and of no effect so far as their acts and words relate to the IT property and pecuniary rights . A discriminating minor child, however, can take possession of property for no consideration, such as accepting a gift, or a free transfer, or assuming possession of unclaimed property.

Article 1213 -A permanent lunatic and a periodical lunatic in his state of lunacy cannot make any intervention whatever in his property and his pecuniary rights even with the permission of his guardian. But judicial acts made by a periodical lunatic during a period of sanity are binding provided that his sanity is established.

Article 1214 – Transaction and legal acts performed by a person not of age are not binding except with the permission of his natural guardian or his guardian, whether the permission has already been given or will be given after the transaction is made.
Never the less, all kinds of possessory acts against no consideration are binding even without permission.

Article 1215 – If anyone hands certain property to the possession of a non discriminating minor child or a lunatic, the minor child or the lunatic shall not be held responsible for damage or loss to the property.

Article 1216 – In case the minor child, lunatic or immature person, causes loss to another person ,he shall be considered a guarantor for the same.

Article 1217 – The management of the property of minor children and insane and immature persons is entrusted to the care of their guardian, as is laid down in Part 3 of Book 8 and the subsequent Articles.

Article 1218 – Guardians will be appointed for the following persons:
1 – For minor children not having a “special guardian’s.
2 – For insane and immature persons whose insanity, or immaturity directly followed their attaining full age and who have no “special guardian”.
3 – For insane and immature persons whose insanity or immaturity did not follow directly after attaining full age.

Article 1219 – In the case mentioned in the preceding Article regarding the appointment of a guardian for their children each of the parents is bound to report the matter of the Public Prosecutor of the district of his residence or to his representative, and to request him to take necessary action for the appointment of a guardian.

Article 1220 – In the absence of the parents of their lack of knowledge it is the duty of the relatives who are living in the same place as the person needing a guardian to perform the task mentioned in the preceding Article.

Article 1221 – If a person for whom a guardian should be appointed as stipulated in Article 1218, has a wife or a husband, the wife or husband is also bound to carry out the formality prescribed in Article 1219.

Article 1222 – In any case where the Public Prosecutor happens to know in any way of the existence of a person for whom a guardian ought to be appointed in accordance with

Article 1218, he (the Public Prosecutor) would have to refer the matter the Special Civil Court and introduce to the court those persons whom he considers fit to be guardians.
The Special Civil Court will then appoint one or several persons as guardian and issue a decision of appointment. The court also can appoint one or several persons to act as supervisors. In this case the court would have to fix the limits of the supervisor’s authority.
In case the court does not consider reliable the person thus introduced, it will ask for other persons to be introduced by the Office of the Public Prosecutor.

Article 1223 -With regard to lunatics the Public Prosecutor should refer the matter beforehand to the experts and submit the views of the latter to the Special Civil Court. In the event of lunacy being established, the Public Prosecutor will refer the matter to Court for the appointment of the guardian. In respect of immature persons also, the Public Prosecutor is bound to obtain adequate information regarding their lack of maturity through well-informed people and to file a suit in the Special Civil Court should he (the Public Prosecutor) find the immaturity indisputable, and to refer the matter to the Special Civil Court for the appointment of a guardian after the issue of a decision regarding the immaturity.

Article 1224 – The safeguarding as well as the superintendence of the property of minor children, lunatics and immature persons shall be entrusted to the care of the Public Prosecutor so long as no guardian has been appointed for them.
The procedure relating to the safeguarding and superintending of the property by the Public Prosecutor shall be designated by virtue of regulations of the Ministry of Justice.

Article 1225 – As soon as a decision declaring the lunacy or immaturity of a person is issued and a guardian is appointed by the Ecclesiastical Court for the said person, the Public Prosecutor can declare the state of disability.
The declaration of the state of disability of any person who may, in view of the conditions of his property, become the subject of comparatively important transactions, is obligatory.

Article 1226 – The names of persons who, after reaching the old age and maturity become under disability because of lunacy or weakness of intellect should be put down in a special register. This book can be seen by anybody.

Article 1227 – The courts, departments and notaries-public can recognize as guardians only those persons whose appointment is made by virtue of the law through the Court.

Article 1228 – Outside Iran the Iranian Consular Officers have the right to appoint temporary guardians in respect of the Iranians for whom guardians will have to be appointed in accordance with Article 1218 and who are residing or staying within the limits. of their area of jurisdiction . They must, by the day following the appointment of guardians, send the documents showing their action to the Ministry of Justice through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The appointment of the said guardian will only become definite when the Special Civil Court of Tehran corroborates the decision taken by the Consular Officer.

Article 1229 – The duties and authority which are prescribed by virtue of the relevant laws and regulations in respect of the intervention Public Prosecutors in matters concerning minor children, lunatics, and immature persons are, So far as these matters concern foreign countries, entrusted to the care of Consular Officers.

Article 1230 -If any stipulation is made contrary to the provisions of the preceding Article in the treaties and agreements concluded between the Iranian Government and the Government in whose consular Officer concerned is exercising his duties, the officers concerned shall put into force the provisions of the two Articles so far as they do not conflict with the stipulations of the agreement or treaty.

Article 1231 – The following persons should not be appointed as guardians:
1 – Those persons who are themselves under guardianship.
2 – Those persons who, by reason of perpetrating a felony or the following misdemeanours been convicted by a final judgment: Theft , abuse of confidence (breach of trust) , swindling embezzlement, rape or immoral acts, offences against children, and fraudulent bankruptcy.
3 – Persons for whom orders of bankruptcy are issued and whose bankruptcy has not yet been settled.
4- Persons who are notorious for their immoral acts.
5- A person who either in his own name or in that of his relatives of the first degree has a claim against the person under incapacity.

Article 1232 – The relatives of the person under capacity shall have priority over others in the matter of guardianship, if they are competent.

Article 1233 – A woman cannot accept guardianship without, the consent of her husband.

Article 1234 – When the court appoints more than one person as guardian, it can determine the duties of the guardians separately.

Article 1235 – The protection of the person who is under guardianship as well as his legal representation in all matters relating to his property and financial rights, are entrusted to the guardian.

Article 1236 – The guardian is bound, before interfering in the matters relating to financial affairs of the person placed under guardianship to make an inventory of all the latter’s property and to send a copy of same duly signed by himself to the Public Prosecutor in whose district the person under guardianship resides, and the Public Prosecutor or his representative should make necessary inquiries with regard to the amount of the property of the ward.

Article 1237 – The Public Prosecutor or his representative should, after seeing the list of the property belonging to the person under guardianship, fix the amount of the annual expenses of the said person as well as the sum which may be necessary for the management of the said property. The guardian cannot spend more than the said amounts unless with the permission of the Public Prosecutor.

Article 1238 – The guardian who fails to safeguard the property of the person placed under guardianship, will be held responsible for negligence or excessive use which may be incurred by the shortage or destruction of the said property even if the loss or wasting be not caused by negligence or excessive use on the part of the guardian.

Article 1239 – In case it is proved that the guardian deliberately failed to put down in the list of the property of the person placed under guardianship some part of the same and caused this part of property not to be entered in the list, he (the guardian) shall be held responsible for any damages and losses which may be caused on that account to the person placed under guardianship. Further, should it be proved that the said act was based on bad faith, the guardian shall be dismissed.

Article 1240 -The guardian cannot transact any business on behalf of the ward between himself and the ward, whether by transferring to himself the property of the ward or by transferring his own property to the latter.

Article 1241 – The guardian cannot sell, mortgage or dispose of the immovable property of the ward in such a way that he (the guardian) becomes indebted to his ward unless in the interests of the ward and with the approval of the Public Prosecutor. In the latter case an indispensable condition for the approval of the Public Prosecutor consists in the financial standing of the guardian Likewise, he (the guardian) cannot raise any unnecessary or needless loan for the person placed under guardianship unless with the approval of the Public Prosecutor.

Article 1242 – The guardian cannot settle a lawsuit relating to the ward by compromise unless with the approval of Public Prosecutor.

Article 1243 – In case of existence of adequate reasons the Public Prosecutor can ask the Special Civil Court to require from the guardian certain guarantees regarding the management of the property of the ward. The nature of these guarantees is to be fixed by the court. If the guardian is not prepared to give the required guarantees, he will be dismissed from the guardianship.

Article 1244 – The guardian should submit to the Public Prosecutor or his representative an account of his guardianship at least once a year. If he (the guardian) fails to submit the account within a month from the ‘date of request made by the Public Prosecutor, he shall be dismissed on the demand of the Public Prosecutor.

Article 1245- The guardian shall give an account of his tenure to the person formerly placed under his guardianship when the person concerned has reached full age and maturity or removal of his incapacity. If the guardianship comes to an end before the removal of incapacity, the account must be submitted to the subsequent guardian.

Article 1246 – The guardian can ask for fees for the fulfilment of his duties as guardian. The amount of the fees in question will be fixed with relation to the nature of the work undertaken by the guardian, the amount of occupation caused to the guardian by his duties as such, and the place where the guardian resides as well as the amount of the income of the ward.

Article 1247- The Public Prosecutor can entrust to reliable persons, to a committee, or to an institution either totally or party the right of exercising supervision in the affairs relating to the person placed under guardianship. The person, committee or institution appointed for carrying out such a control shall be held responsible for any loss or damages which may be caused to the person placed under guardianship in the case of failure or dishonesty on the part of such person or body.

Article 1248-A guardian is dismissed in the following circumstances:
1 – If it be established that the guardian lacked honesty or loses this quality.
2 – If the guardian commits a felony or perpetrates one of the following misdemeanours and is convicted by a final judgment Theft, breach of confidence, swindling, embezzlement, rape or m moral acts, offences against children, bankruptcy by fraud or culpable bankruptcy.
3 – If the guardian is convicted to imprisonment for a reason other than those mentioned above and consequently cannot manage the financial affairs of the ward.
4 – If the guardian is declared bankrupt.
5 – If the incompetence or inability of the guardian in the management of the affairs of the ward is established.
6 – In respect of Articles 1239, 1243 and 1244 at the request of the Public Prosecutor. Article 1249 – If the guardian be insane or immature, he will be dismissed.
Article 1250- If the guardian is prosecuted by the Public Prosecutor in the matters relating to the property of the person placed under guardianship or in respect of a felony or misdemeanour concerning his ward, another guardian will, at the request of the Public Prosecutor, be appointed by the court for supervising temporarily the affairs of the ward.

Article 1251 – If a woman without a husband who is appointed as guardian, even if she be the mother of the person placed under guardianship, re – marries, she will have to report the matter within a month from the date of the contract of marriage to the Public Prosecutor of the district of her residence or to his representative In such a case the Public Prosecutor or his representative can, while taking into view the new position of that woman, ask for the appointment of a new guardian or the addition of a supervisor.

Article 1252 – With regard to the preceding Article, in case the guardian fails to report her marriage to the Public Prosecutor or his representative within the prescribed period, the Public Prosecutor can ask for her dismissal.

Article 1253 – On the removal of the grounds which have caused the appointment of a guardian the guardianship will be extinguished.

Article 1254 – The person placed under guardianship or any other interested person can ask for the removal of the guardianship The application for this purpose can be submitted to the Special Civil Court of the district where the ward resides either direct or through the Public Prosecutor of the said district or his representative.

Article 1255 – In respect of the preceding Article the Public Prosecutor or his representative is bound to make enquires before hand as to the grounds for the removal of the ground and to express his views in court with regard to the result of his enquiries.
In respect of persons whose incapacity is announced in accordance with Article 1225, the removal of the incapacity should also be notified.

Article 1256 – The removal of incapacity of any ward should be recorded in the register mentioned in Article 1226 against the name of the ward.

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Constitution of Iran (1979)



  1. General Principles
  2. The Official Language, Script, Calendar, and Flag of the Country
  3. The Rights of the People
  4. Economy and Financial Affairs
  5. The Right of National Sovereignty
  6. The Legislative Powers
  7. Councils
  8. The Leader or Leadership Council
  9. The Executive Powers
  10. Foreign Policy
  11. The Judiciary
  12. Radio and Television
  13. Supreme Council for National Security
  14. Revision of the Constitution
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Constitution of Iran (1979) – Preamble

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 fulfilment.

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, who had always been in the forefront of popular movements, together with the committed writers and intellectuals, found new impetus by following his leadership.

The Dawn of the Movement
The devastating protest of Imam Khumayni against the American conspiracy known as the “White Revolution,” which was a step intended to stabilize the foundations of despotic rule and to reinforce the political, cultural, and economic dependence of Iran on world imperialism, brought into being a united movement of the people and, immediately afterwards, a momentous revolution of the Muslim nation in June 1963. Although this revolution was drowned in blood, in reality it heralded the beginning of the blossoming of a glorious and massive uprising, which confirmed the central role of Imam Khumayni as an Islamic leader. Despite his exile from Iran after his protest against the humiliating law of capitulation (which provided legal immunity for American advisers), the firm bond between the Imam and the people endured, and the Muslim nation, particularly committed intellectuals and militant ‘ulama’, continued their struggle in the face of banishment and imprisonment, torture and execution.

Throughout this time, the conscious and responsible segment ofsociety was bringing enlightenment to the people from the strongholds of the mosques, centers of religious teaching, and universities. Drawing inspiration from the revolutionary and fertile teachings of Islam, they began the unrelenting yet fruitful struggle of raising the level of ideological awareness and revolutionary consciousness of the Muslim people. The despotic regime which had begun the suppression of the Islamic movement with barbaric attacks on the Faydiyyah Madrasah, Tehran University, and all other active centers of revolution, in an effort to evade the revolutionary anger of the people, resorted to the most savage and brutal measures. And in these circumstances, execution by firing squads, endurance of medieval tortures, and long terms of imprisonment were the price our Muslim nation had to pay to prove its firm resolve to continue the struggle. The Islamic Revolution of Iran was nurtured by the blood of hundreds of young men and women, infused with faith, who raised their cries of “Allahu Akbar” at daybreak in execution yards, or were gunned down by the enemy in streets and marketplaces. Meanwhile, the continuing declarations and messages of the Imam that were issued on various occasions, extended and deepened the consciousness and determination of the Muslim nation to the utmost.

Islamic Government
The plan of the Islamic government as proposed by Imam Khumayni at the height of the period of repression and strangulation practiced by the despotic regime, produced a new specific, and streamline motive for the Muslim people, opening up before them the true path of Islamic ideological struggle, and giving greater intensity to the struggle of militant and committed Muslims both within the country and abroad.

The movement continued on this course until finally popular dissatisfaction and intense rage of the public caused by the constantly increasing repression at home, and the projection of the struggle at the international level after exposure of the regime by the ‘ulama’ and militant students, shook the foundations of the regime violently. The regime and its sponsors were compelled to decrease the intensity of repression and to “liberalize” the political atmosphere of the country. This, they imagined, would serve as a safety valve, which would prevent their eventual downfall. But the people, aroused, conscious, and resolute under the decisive and unfaltering leadership of the Imam, embarked on a triumphant, unified, comprehensive, and countrywide uprising.

The Wrath of the People
The publication of an outrageous article meant to malign the revered ‘ulama’ and in particular Imam Khumayni on 7 Jan 1978 by the ruling regime accelerated the revolutionary movement and caused an outburst of popular outrage across the country. The regime attempted to quiet the heat of the people’s anger by drowning the protest and uprising in blood, but the bloodshed only quickened the pulse rate of the Revolution. The seventh-day and fortieth-day commemorations of the martyrs of the Revolution, like a series of steady heartbeats, gave greater vitality, intensity, vigor, and solidarity to this movement all over the country. In the course of this popular movement, the employees of all government establishments took an active part in the effort to overthrow the tyrannical regime by calling a general strike and participating in street demonstrations. The widespread solidarity of men and women of all segments of society and of all political and religious factions, played a clearly determining role in the struggle. Especially the women were actively and massively present in a most conspicuous manner at all stages of this great struggle. The common sightof mothers with infants in their arms rushing towards the scene of battle and in front of the barrels of machine-guns indicated the essential and decisive role played by this major segment of society in the struggle.

The Price the Nation Paid
After slightly more than a year of continuous and unrelenting struggle, the sapling of the evolution, watered by the blood of more than 60,000 martyrs and 100,000 wounded and disabled, not to mention property damage, came to bear fruit amidst the cries of “Independence! Freedom! Islamic government!” This great movement, which attained victory through reliance upon faith, unity, and the decisiveness of its leadership at every critical and sensitive juncture, as well as the self-sacrificing spirit of the people, succeeded in upsetting all the calculations of imperialism and destroying all its connections and institutions, thereby opening a new chapter in the history of all-embracing popular revolutions of the world.

On 12 and 13 Feb 1979, the world witnessed the collapse of the monarchical regime. Domestic tyranny and foreign domination, both of which were based upon it, were shattered. This great success proved to be the vanguard of Islamic government — a long-cherished desire of the Muslim people — and brought with it the glad tidings of final victory.

Unanimously, the Iranian people declared their final and firm decision, in the referendum on the Islamic Republic, to bring about a new political system, that of the Islamic Republic. A majority of 98.2% of the people voted for this system. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, setting forth as it does the political, social, cultural, and economic institutions and their relations that are to exist in society, must now provide for the consolidation of the foundations of Islamic government, and propose the plan of a new system of government to be erected on the ruins of the previous order.

The Form of Government in Islam
In the view of Islam, government does not derive from the interests of a class, nor does it serve the domination of an individual or a group. Rather, it represents the fulfillment of the political ideal of a people who bear a common faith and common outlook, taking an organized form in order to initiate the process of intellectual and ideological evolution towards the final goal, i.e., movement towards Allah. Our nation, in the course of its revolutionary developments, has cleansed itself of the dust and impurities that accumulated during the past and purged itself of foreign ideological influences, returning to authentic intellectual standpoints and world-view of Islam. It now intends to establish an ideal and model society on the basis of Islamic norms. The mission of the Constitution is to realize the ideological objectives of the movement and to create conditions conducive to the development of man in accordance with the noble and universal values of Islam.

With due attention to the Islamic content of the Iranian Revolution, the Constitution provides the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the Revolution at home and abroad. In particular, in the development of international relations, the Constitution will strive with other Islamic and popular movements to prepare the way for the formation of a single world community (in accordance with the Koranic verse “This your community is a single community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me” [21:92]), and to assure the continuation of the struggle for the liberation of all deprived and oppressed peoples in the world.

With due attention to the essential character of this great movement, the Constitution guarantees the rejection of all forms of intellectual and social tyranny and economic monopoly, and aims at entrusting the destinies of the people to the people themselves in order to break completely with the system of oppression. (This is in accordance with the Koranic verse “He removes from them their burdens an the fetters that were upon them” [7:157]).
In creating, on the basis of ideological outlook, the political infrastructures and institutions that are the foundation of society, the righteous will assume the responsibility of governing and adMinistering the country (in accordance with the Koranic verse “Verily My righteous servants shall inherit the earth” [21:105]). Legislation setting forth regulations for the administration of society will revolve around the Koran and the Sunnah.

Accordingly, the exercise of meticulous and earnest supervision by just, pious, and committed scholars of Islam is an absolute necessity. In addition, the aim of government is to foster the growth of man in such a way that he progresses towards the establishment of a Divine order (in accordance with the Koranic phrase “And toward God is the journeying” [3 28]); and to create favorable conditions for the emergence and blossoming of man’s innate capacities, so that the theomorphic dimensions of the human being are manifested (in accordance with the injunction of the Prophet (S) “Mould yourselves according to the Divine morality”); this goal cannot be attained without the active and broad participation of all segments of society in the process of social development.

With due attention to this goal, the Constitution provides the basis of such participation by all members of society at all stages of the political decision-making process on which the destiny of the country depends. In this way during the course of human development towards perfection, each individual will himself be involved in, and responsible for the growth, advancement, and leadership of society. Precisely in this lies the realization of the holy government upon earth (in accordance with the Koranic verse “And we wish to show favor to those who have been oppressed upon earth, and to make them leaders and the inheritors.” [28:5]).
The Principles of Governance of the Just Holy Person

In keeping with the principles of governance and the perpetual necessity of leadership, the Constitution provides for the establishment of leadership by a holy person possessing the necessary qualifications and recognized as leader by the people (this is in accordance with the saying “The direction of affairs is in the hands of those who are learned concerning God and are trustworthy in matters pertaining to what He permits and forbids”). Such leadership will prevent any deviation by the various organs of State from their essential Islamic duties.

The Economy is a Means, Not an End
In strengthening the foundations of the economy, the fundamental consideration will be fulfillment of the material needs of man in the course of his overall growth and development. This principle contrasts with other economic systems, where the aim is concentration and accumulation of wealth and maximization of profit. In materialist schools of thought, the economy represents an end in itself, so that it comes to be a subversive and corrupting factor in the course of man’s development. In Islam, the economy is a means, and all that is required of a means is that it should be an efficient factor contributing to the attainment of the ultimate goal.
From this viewpoint, the economic program of Islam consists of providing the means needed for the emergence of the various creative capacities of the human being. Accordingly, it is the duty of the Islamic government to furnish all citizens with equal and appropriate opportunities, to provide them with work, and to satisfy their essential needs, so that the course of their progress may be assured.

Woman in the Constitution
Through the creation of Islamic social infrastructures, all the elements of humanity that served the multifaceted foreign exploitation shall regain their true identity and human rights. As a part of this process, it is only natural that women should benefit from a particularly large augmentation of their rights, because of the greater oppression that they suffered under the old regime.

The family is the fundamental unit of society and the main center for the growth and edification of human being. Compatibility with respect to belief and ideal, which provides the primary basis for man’s development and growth, is the main consideration in the establishment of a family. It is the duty of the Islamic government to provide the necessary facilities for the attainment of this goal. This view of the family unit delivers woman from being regarded as an object or instrument in the service of promoting consumerism and exploitation. Not only does woman recover thereby her momentous and precious function of motherhood, rearing of ideologically committed human beings, she also assumes a pioneering social role and becomes the fellow struggler of man in all vital areas of life. Given the weighty responsibilities that woman thus assumes, she is accorded in Islam great value and nobility.

An Ideological Army
In the formation and equipping of the country’s defence forces, due attention must be paid to faith and ideology as the basic criteria. Accordingly, the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are to be organized in conformity with this goal, and they will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God’s law throughout the world (this is in accordance with the Koranic verse “Prepare against them whatever force you are able to muster, and strings of horses, striking fear into the enemy of God and your enemy, and others besides them” [8:60]).

The Judiciary in the Constitution
The judiciary is of vital importance in the context of safeguarding the rights of the people in accordance with the line followed by the Islamic movement, and the prevention of deviations within the Islamic nation. Provision has therefore been made for the creation of a judicial system based on Islamic justice and operated by just judges with meticulous knowledge of the Islamic laws. This system, because of its essentially sensitive nature and the need for full ideological conformity, must be free from every kind of unhealthy relation and connection (this is in accordance with the Koranic verse “When you judge among the people, judge with justice” [4:58]).

Executive Power
Considering the particular importance of the executive power in implementing the laws and ordinances of Islam for the sake of establishing the rule of just relations over society, and considering, too, its vital role in paving the way for theattainment of the ultimate goal of life, the executive power must work toward the creation of an Islamic society. Consequently, the confinement of the executive power within any kind of complex and inhibiting system that delays or impedes the attainment of this goal is rejected by Islam. Therefore, the system of bureaucracy, the result and product of old forms of government, will be firmly cast away, so that an executive system that functions efficiently and swiftly in the fulfillment of its administrative commitments comes into existence.

Mass-Communication Media
The mass-communication media, radio and television, must serve the diffusion of Islamic culture in pursuit of the evolutionary course of the Islamic Revolution. To this end, the media should be used as a forum for healthy encounter of different ideas, but they must strictly refrain from diffusion and propagation of destructive and anti-Islamic practices.

It is incumbent on all to adhere to the principles of this Constitution, for it regards as its highest aim the freedom and dignity of the human race and provides for the growth and development of the human being. It is also necessary that the Muslim people should participate actively in the construction of Islamic society by selecting competent and believing officials and keeping close and constant watch on their performance. They may then hope for success in building an ideal Islamic society that can be a model for all people of the world and a witness to its perfection (in accordance with the Koranic verse “Thus We made you a median community, that you might be witnesses to men” [2:143]).

The Assembly of Experts, composed of representatives of the people, completed its task of framing the Constitution, on the basis of the draft proposed by the government as well as all the proposals received from different groups of the people, in one hundred and seventy-five articles arranged in twelve chapters, in 1979, and in accordance with the aims and aspirations set out above, with the hope that this century will witness the establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others.

Next: Chapter 1 – General Principles

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Constitution of Iran (1979) – 2: The Official Language, Script, Calendar, and Flag of the Country

Article 15 [Official Language]
The Official Language and script of Iran, the lingua franca of its people, is Persian. Official documents, correspondence, and texts, as well as text-books, must be in this language and script. However, the use of regional and tribal languages in the press and mass media, as well as for teaching of their literature in schools, is allowed in addition to Persian.

Article 16 [Arabic Language]
Since the language of the Koran and Islamic texts and teachings is Arabic, and since Persian literature is thoroughly permeated by this language, it must be taught after elementary level, in all classes of secondary school and in all areas of study.

Article 17 [Official Calendar]
The Official Calendar of the country takes as its point of departure the migration of the Prophet of Islam — God’s peace and blessings upon him and his Family. Both the solar and lunar Islamic calendars are recognized, but government offices will function according to the solar calendar. The official weekly holiday is Friday.

Article 18 [Official Flag]
The Official Flag of Iran is composed of green, white, and red colors, with the special emblem of the Islamic Republic, together with the State Motto.

Next: Chapter 3 – The Rights of the People

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Constitution of Iran (1979) – 3: The Rights of the People

Article 19 [No Discrimination, No Privileges]
All people of Iran, whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they belong, enjoy equal rights; color, race, language, and the like, do not bestow any privilege.

Article 20 [Equality Before Law]
All citizens of the country, both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria.

Article 21 [Women's Rights]
The government must ensure the rights of women in all respects, in conformity with Islamic criteria, and accomplish the following goals:
1) create a favorable environment for the growth of woman’s personality and the restoration of her rights, both the material and intellectual;
2) the protection of mothers, particularly during pregnancy and child-rearing, and the protection of children without guardians;
3) establishing competent courts to protect and preserve the family;
4) the provision of special insurance for widows, aged women, and women without support;
5) the awarding of guardianship of children to worthy mothers, in order to protect the interests of the children, in the absence of a legal guardian.

Article 22 [Human Dignity and Rights]
The dignity, life, property, rights, residence, and occupation of the individual are inviolate, except in cases sanctioned by law.

Article 23 [Freedom of Belief]
The investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.

Article 24 [Freedom of the Press]
Publications and the press have freedom of expression except when it is detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam or the rights of the public. The details of this exception will be specified by law.

Article 25 [Secrecy of Communication]
The inspection of letters and the failure to deliver them, the recording and disclosure of telephone conversations, the disclosure of telegraphic and telex communications, censorship, or the wilful failure to transmit them, eavesdropping, and all forms of covert investigation are forbidden, except as provided by law.

Article 26 [Freedom of Association]
The formation of parties, societies, political or professional associations, as well as religious societies, whether Islamic or pertaining to one of the recognized religious minorities, is permitted provided they do not violate the principles of independence, freedom, national unity, the criteria of Islam, or the basis of the Islamic Republic. No one may be preventedfrom participating in the aforementioned groups, or be compelled to participate in them.

Article 27 [Freedom of Assembly]
Public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided arms are not carried and that they are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam.

Article 28 [Work]
(1) Everyone has the right to choose any occupation he wishes, if it is not contrary to Islam and the public interests, and does not infringe the rights of others.
(2) The government has the duty, with due consideration of the need of society for different kinds of work, to provide every citizen with the opportunity to work, and to create equal conditions for obtaining it.

Article 29 [Welfare Rights]
(1) To benefit from social security with respect to retirement, unemployment, old age, disability, absence of a guardian, and benefits relating to being stranded, accidents, health services, and medical care and treatment, provided through insurance or other means, is accepted as a universal right.
(2) The government must provide the foregoing services and financial support for every individual citizen by drawing, in accordance with the law, on the national revenues and funds obtained through public contributions.

Article 30 [Education]
The government must provide all citizen with free education up to secondary school, and must expand free higher education to the extent required by the country for attaining self-sufficiency.

Article 31 [Housing]
It is the right of every Iranian individual and family to possess housing commensurate with his needs. The government must make land available for the implementation of this article, according priority to those whose need is greatest, in particular the rural population and the workers.

Article 32 [Arrest]
No one may be arrested except by the order and in accordance with the procedure laid down by law. In case of arrest, charges with the reasons for accusation must, without delay, be communicated and explained to the accused in writing, and a provisional dossier must be forwarded to the competent judicial authorities within a maximum of twenty-four hours so that the preliminaries to the trial can be completed as swiftly as possible. The violation of this article will be liable to punishment in accordance with the law.

Article 33 [Residence]
No one can be banished from his place of residence, prevented from residing in the place of his choice, or compelled to reside in a given locality, except in cases provided by law.

Article 34 [Recourse to the Courts]
It is the indisputable right of every citizen to seek justice by recourse to competent courts. All citizens have right of access to such courts, and no one can be barred from courts to which he has a legal right of recourse.

Article 35 [Right to Counsel]
Both parties to a lawsuit have the right in all courts of law to select an attorney, and if they are unable to do so, arrangements must be made to provide them with legal counsel.

Article 36 [Sentencing]
The passing and execution of a sentence must be only by a competent court and in accordance with law.

Article 37 [Presumption of Innocense]
Innocence is to be presumed, and no one is to be held guilty of a charge unless his or her guilt has been established by a competent court.

Article 38 [Torture]
All forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confession or acquiring information are forbidden. Compulsion of individuals to testify, confess, or take an oath is not permissible; and any testimony, confession, or oath obtained under duress is devoid of value and credence. Violation of this article is liable to punishment in accordance with the law.

Article 39 [Dignity of Arrested]
All affronts to the dignity and repute of persons arrested, detained, imprisoned, or banished in accordance with the law, whatever form they may take, are forbidden and liable to punishment.

Article 40 [Public Interest]
No one is entitled to exercise his rights in a way injurious to others or detrimental to public interests.

Article 41 [Citizenship]
Iranian citizenship is the indisputable right of every Iranian, and the government cannot withdraw citizenship from any Iranian unless he himself requests it or acquires the citizenship of another country.

Article 42 [Nationalization]
Foreign nationals may acquire Iranian citizenship within the framework of the laws. Citizenship may be withdrawn from such persons if another State accepts them as its citizens or if they request it.

Next: Chapter 4 – Economy and Financial Affairs

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Constitution of Iran (1979) – 4: Economy and Financial Affairs

Article 43 [Principles]
The economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its objectives of achieving the economic independence of the society, uprooting poverty and deprivation, and fulfilling human needs in the process of development while preserving human liberty, is based on the following criteria:
1. the provision of basic necessities for all citizens: housing, food, clothing, hygiene, medical treatment, education, and the necessary facilities for the establishment of a family;
2. ensuring conditions and opportunities of employment for everyone, with a view to attaining full employment; placing the means of work at the disposal of everyone who is able to work but lacks the means, in the form of cooperatives, through granting interest-free loans or recourse to any other legitimate means that neither results in the concentration or circulation of wealth in the hands of a few individuals or groups, nor turns the government into a major absolute employer. These steps must be taken with due regard for the requirements governing the general economic planning of the country at each stage of its growth;
3. the plan for the national economy must be structured in such a manner that the form, content, and hours of work of every individual will allow him sufficient leisure and energy to engage, beyond his professional endeavor, in intellectual, political, and social activities leading to all-round developmentof his self, to take active part in leading the affairs of the country, improve his skills, and to make full use of his creativity;
4. respect for the right to choose freely an occupation; refraining from compelling anyone to engage in a particular job; and preventing the exploitation of another’s labor;
5. the prohibition of infliction of harm and loss upon others, monopoly, hoarding, usury, and other illegitimate and evil practices;
6. the prohibition of extravagance and wastefulness in all matters related to the economy, including consumption, investment, production, distribution, and services;
7. the utilization of and the training of skilled personnel in accordance with the developmental needs of the country’s economy;
8. prevention of foreign economic domination over the country’s economy:
9. emphasis on increase of agricultural, livestock, and industrial production in order to satisfy public needs and to make the country self-sufficient and free from dependence.

Article 44 [Sectors]
(1) The economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to consist of three sectors: state, cooperative, and private, and is to be based on systematic and sound planning.
(2) The state sector is to include all large-scale and mother industries, foreign trade, major minerals, banking, insurance, power generation, dams, and large-scale irrigation networks, radio and television, post, telegraph and telephone services, aviation, shipping, roads, railroads and the like; all these will be publicly owned and adMinistered by the State.
(3) The cooperative sector is to include cooperative companies and enterprises concerned with production and distribution, in urban and rural areas, in accordance with Islamic criteria.
(4) The private sector consists of those activities concerned with agriculture, animal husbandry, industry, trade, and services that supplement the economic activities of the state and cooperative sectors.
(5) Ownership in each of these three sectors is protected by the laws of the Islamic Republic, in so far as this ownership is in conformity with the other articles of this chapter, does not go beyond the bounds of Islamic law, contributes to the economic growth and progress of the country and does not harm society.
(6) The scope of each of these sectors as well as the regulations and conditions governing their operation, will be specified by law.

Article 45 [Public Wealth]
Public wealth and property, such as uncultivated or abandoned land, mineral deposits, seas, lakes, rivers and other public waterways, mountains, valleys, forests, marshlands, natural forests, unenclosed pastures, legacies without heirs, property of undetermined ownership, and public property recovered from usurpers, shall be at the disposal of the Islamic government for it to utilize in accordance with the public interest. Law will specify detailed procedures for the utilization of each of the foregoing items.

Article 46 [Fruits of Business]
Everyone is the owner of the fruits of his legitimate business and labor, and no one may deprive another of the opportunity of business and work under the pretext of his right to ownership.

Article 47 [Private Property]
Private ownership, legitimately acquired, is to be respected. The relevant criteria are determined by law.

Article 48 [Resources for Regions]
There must be no discrimination among the various provinces with regard to the exploitation of natural resources, utilization of public revenues, and distribution of economic activities among the various provinces and regions of the country, thereby ensuring that every region has access to the necessary capital and facilities in accordance with its needs and capacity for growth.

Article 49 [Confiscation]
The government has the responsibility of confiscating all wealth accumulated through usury, usurpation, bribery, embezzlement, theft, gambling, misuse of endowments, misuse of government contracts and transactions, the sale of uncultivated lands and other resources subject to public ownership, the operation of centers of corruption, and other illicit means and sources, and restoring it to its legitimate owner; and if no such owner can be identified, it must be entrusted to the public treasury. This rule must be executed by the government with due care, after investigation and furnishing necessary evidence in accordance with the law of Islam.

Article 50 [Preservation of the Environment]
The preservation of the environment, in which the present as well as the future generations have a right to flourishing social existence, is regarded as a public duty in the Islamic Republic. Economic and other activities that inevitably involve pollution of the environment or cause irreparable damage to it are therefore forbidden.

Article 51 [Taxation]
No form of taxation may be imposed except in accordance with the law. Provisions for tax exemption and reduction will be determined by law.

Article 52 [Budget]
The annual budget of the country will be drawn up by the government in the manner specified by law and submitted to the Islamic Consultative Assembly for discussion and approval. Any change in the figures contained in the budget will be in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.

Article 53 [Central Treasury]
All sums collected by the government will be deposited into the government accounts at the central treasury, and all disbursements, within the limits of allocations approved, shall be made in accordance with law.

Article 54 [Acounting Agency]
The National Accounting Agency is to be directly under the supervision of the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Its organization and mode of operation in Tehran and at the provincial capitals are to be determined by law.

Article 55 [Auditing, Report]
The National Accounting Agency will inspect and audit, in the manner prescribed by law, all the accounts of ministries, government institutions, and companies as well as other organizations that draw, in any way, on the general budget of the country, to ensure that no expenditure exceeds the allocations approved and that all sums are spent for the specified purpose. It will collect all relevant accounts, documents, and records, in accordance with law, and submit to the Islamic Consultative Assembly a report for the settlement ofeach year’s budget together with its own comments. This report must be made available to the public.

Next: Chapter 5 – The Right of National Sovereignty

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Constitution of Iran (1979) – 5: The Right of National Sovereignty

Article 56 [Divine Right of Sovereignty]
Absolute sovereignty over the world and man belongs to God, and it is He Who has made man master of his own social destiny. No one can deprive man of this divine right, nor subordinate it to the vested interests of a particular individual or group. The people are to exercise this divine right in the manner specified in the following articles.

Article 57 [Separation of Powers]
The powers of government in the Islamic Republic are vested in the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive powers, functioning under the supervision of the absolute religious Leader and the Leadership of the Ummah, in accordance with the forthcoming articles of this Constitution. These powers are independent of each other.

Article 58 [Legislature]
The functions of the legislature are to be exercised through the Islamic Consultative Assembly, consisting of the elected representatives of the people. Legislation approved by this body, after going through the stages specified in the articles below, is communicated to the executive and the judiciary for implementation.

Article 59 [Mandatory Referendum]
In extremely important economic, political, social, and cultural matters, the functions of the legislature may be exercised through direct recourse to popular vote through a referendum. Any request for such direct recourse to public opinion must be approved by two-thirds of the members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.

Article 60 [Executive]
The functions of the executive, except in the matters that are directly placed under the jurisdiction of the Leadership by the Constitution, are to be exercised by the President and the Ministers.

Article 61 [Judiciary]
The functions of the judiciary are to be performed by courts of justice, which are to be formed in accordance with the criteria of Islam, and are vested with the authority to examine and settle lawsuits, protect the rights of the public, dispense and enact justice, and implement the Divine limits.

Next: Chapter 6 – The Legislative Powers

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