The Islamic Consultative Assembly (Persian: مجلس شورای اسلامی‎, translit. Majles-e Showrā-ye Eslāmī), also called the Iranian Parliament, the Iranian Majlis (or Majles, مجلس), is the national legislative body of Iran. The Parliament currently has 290 representatives, changed from the previous 272 seats since the 18 February 2000 election. The most recent election took place on 26 February 2016 and the new parliament was opened on 28 May 2016.[2]


Imperial State of Iran

First Members of Parliament, 1906–1908

Before the Islamic Revolution, Majlis was also the name of the lower house of the Iranian Legislature from 1906 to 1979, the upper house being the Senate.

It was created by the Iran Constitution of 1906 and first convened on 7 October 1906 (Iranian Calendar: 1285-Mehr-13),[3] soon gaining power under the rule of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Noteworthy bills passed by the Parliament under the Pahlavi Dynasty include the Oil Nationalization Bill (15 March 1951) and the Family Protection Law (1967), which gave women many basic rights such as custody of children in the case of divorce.

Women were not allowed to vote or be elected to the Parliament until 1963, as part of reforms under the Shah's "White Revolution". The twenty-first National Consultative Assembly, which included female representatives, opened on 6 October 1963.

The last session of the Pre-Revolution Parliament was held on 7 February 1979 (18 Bahman 1357 AP[3]).

Islamic Republic

After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the Senate of Iran was abolished and was effectively replaced by the Guardian Council thus the Iranian legislature remained bicameral. In the 1989 revision of the constitution, the National Consultative Assembly became the Islamic Consultative Assembly.

The Parliament of Iran has had six chairmen since the Iranian Revolution. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was the first chairman, from 1980 to 1989. Then came Mehdi Karroubi (1989–1992), Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri (1992–2000), Mehdi Karroubi (2000–2004), Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel (2004–2008) and Ali Larijani since 2008.

Over its history the Parliament is said to have evolved from being "a debating chamber for notables," to "a club for the shah's placemen" during the Pahlavi era, to a body dominated by members of "the propertied middle class" under the Islamic Republic.[4][5]

2017 attack

On 7 June 2017, there was shooting at the Iranian parliament and at the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini.[6] Gunmen opened fire at the Iranian Parliament and the mausoleum of religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran. The attack on the mausoleum has reportedly left 17 persons dead and more than 30 people injured. The parliament was attacked by four gunmen which left seven to eight people injured. Both attacks took place around the same time and appear to have been coordinated.


The Islamic Consultative Assembly can legislate laws on all issues within the limits of the Constitution.[7] The Assembly cannot, for instance, enact laws contrary to the canons and principles of the official religion of the country (Islam) or to the Constitution.[8]

Government bills are presented to the Islamic Consultative Assembly after receiving the approval of the Council of Ministers.[9]

The Islamic Consultative Assembly has the right to investigate and examine all the affairs of the country.[10]

International treaties, protocols, contracts, and agreements must be approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly.[11]

Receiving and issuing national or international loans or grants by the government must be ratified by the Islamic Consultative Assembly.[12]

The President must obtain, for the Council of Ministers, after being formed and before all other business, a vote of confidence from the Assembly.[13]

Whenever at least one-fourth of the total members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly pose a question to the President, or any one member of the Assembly poses a question to a minister on a subject relating to their duties, the President or the minister is obliged to attend the Assembly and answer the question.[14]

All legislation passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly must be sent to the Guardian Council. The Guardian Council must review it within a maximum of ten days from its receipt with a view to ensuring its compatibility with the criteria of Islam and the Constitution. If it finds the legislation incompatible, it will return it to the Assembly for review. Otherwise the legislation will be deemed enforceable.[15]


Currently, there are 290 members of Parliament, fourteen of whom represent non-Muslim religious minorities (4.8%), and are popularly elected for four-year terms. About 8% of the Parliament are women, while the global average is 13%.[16] The Parliament can force the dismissal of cabinet ministers through no-confidence votes and can impeach the president for misconduct in office. Although the executive proposes most new laws, individual deputies of the Parliament also may introduce legislation. Deputies also may propose amendments to bills being debated. The Parliament also drafts legislation, ratifies international treaties, and approves the national budget.

All People's House of Iran candidates and all legislation from the assembly must be approved by the Guardian Council. Candidates must pledge in writing that they are committed, in theory and in practice, to the Iranian constitution.


The Parliament currently has 207 constituencies, including a total of 5 reserved seats for the religious minorities recognized by the constitution. The rest of 202 constituencies are territorial and coincide with 1 or more of Iran's 368 Shahrestans. The largest electoral districts are:


Ali Larijani in his office of parliament chairman

Members of Parliament elect their speaker and deputy speakers during the first session of Parliament for a one-year term. Every year, almost always in May, elections for new speakers are held in which incumbents may be re-elected.

The current Speaker of Parliament is Ali Larijani, with First Deputy Speaker Masoud Pezeshkian and Second Deputy Speaker Ali Motahari.


Current composition

The last elections of Parliament of Iran were held on 26 March 2016 with a second round will be held in April in those 71 districts where no candidate received 25% or more of the votes cast. More than 12,000 candidates registered but leaving about 6,200 candidates to run for the 290 seats representing the 31 provinces. The results indicate that the results would make a hung parliament with reformists having a plurality.


After 1979, the Parliament convened at the building that used to house the Senate of Iran. A new building for the Assembly was constructed at Baharestan Square in central Tehran, near the old Iranian Parliament building that had been used from 1906 to 1979. After several debates, the move was finally approved in 2004. The first session of the Parliament in the new building was held on 16 November 2004.

The old building is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 100 rial banknote.[17]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Nohlen, Dieter; Grotz, Florian; Hartmann, Christof (2001). "Iran". Elections in Asia: A Data Handbook. I. Oxford University Press. p. 64. ISBN 0-19-924958-X. 
  2. ^ Large scale turn out at polls in IRI March Majlis Elections Archived 2 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. IRNA
  3. ^ a b Mohammad Modarresi (2005). "An Introduction to the history of the Legislative Assembly In Iran: The First Parliament of the National Consultative Assembly (آشنایی با تاریخ مجالس قانونگذاری در ایران: دوره اول مجلس شورای ملی)" (PDF) (in Persian). The Research Center of Islamic Consultative Assembly (مرکز پژوهش‌های مجلس شورای اسلامی). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 June 2007. 
  4. ^ Abrahamian, History of Modern Iran, (2008), p. 179
  5. ^ Islamic Majles, Ashnai-ye Ba Majles-e Showra-ye Islami, Vol.ii (Guide to the Islamic Majles, Tehran, 1992, p. 205
  6. ^ "Iran shootings: Parliament and Khomeini shrine attacked". BBC News. 2017-06-07. Retrieved 2017-06-07. 
  7. ^ Article 71 of the Constitution of Iran (1982-07-28)
  8. ^ Article 72 of the Constitution of Iran (1982-07-28)
  9. ^ Article 74 of the Constitution of Iran (1982-07-28)
  10. ^ Article 76 of the Constitution of Iran (1982-07-28)
  11. ^ Article 77 of the Constitution of Iran (1982-07-28)
  12. ^ Article 80 of the Constitution of Iran (1982-07-28)
  13. ^ Article 87 of the Constitution of Iran (1982-07-28)
  14. ^ Article 88 of the Constitution of Iran (1982-07-28)
  15. ^ Article 94 of the Constitution of Iran (1982-07-28)
  16. ^ "On Women's Day, struggle for equality remains". Kyiv Post. 8 March 2012. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Central Bank of Iran. Banknotes & Coins: 100 Rials. – Retrieved on 24 March 2009.

 This article incorporates text from the Constitution of Iran, which is in the public domain.

External links


Coordinates: 35°41′30.28″N 51°26′04″E / 35.6917444°N 51.43444°E / 35.6917444; 51.43444