Deputy Chairman of Parliament Criticizes Institutions for Interfering with the Work of Parliament, Denying Education to Baha’is and Closing their Businesses

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Source: magiran.com

Translation by Iran Press Watch

Editor’s note: Baha’is are faced with many forms of persecution, including denial of higher education and closure of businesses, which are rooted in a secret 1991 memorandum of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. Now, after almost thirty years, the Deputy Chairman of Parliament, Ali Motahhari, is criticizing this memorandum and other institutions’ interference with the work of the parliament.

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It is illegal for the Expediency Discernment Council1 to interfere with legislation.

Criticizing the interference of various institutions in legislation in Iran, the Deputy Chairman of Parliament stated: According to the Constitution, the Islamic Consultative assembly is the only legislative institution.

Based on a report by Jamaran News Agency, at a conference titled “Legislation in the Islamic Republic” which was held at the Assembly Hall of Mofid University in Qum, referring to the role of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani in the implementation of the Islamic Republic Regime and the point that he can be called the founder of legislation in the Islamic Republic, Ali Motahhari criticized some institutions for their interference with legislative work. He added: The Constitution has identified the Islamic Consultative Assembly as the only legislative body. However, in practice we sanctioned councils such as the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, etc. which also legislate. Sometimes, even the Expediency Discernment Council itself enters the arena of legislation, and all of these are against the Constitution. Stating that it is important to implement what is in the Constitution, he said: The Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution may be a necessary council, but its interference with legislation is contradictory to the Constitution; this means that the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution takes actions which Parliament is responsible to justify.

For example, the law of making university students “starred” due to their criticism of the Regime or having participated in a group which prohibits them from registering for higher levels of education was devised by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution; also the prohibition of Baha’is from higher education in Iran, whether right or wrong, was approved by the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution. The Islamic Consultative Assembly has had no role in approving this policy, but on the other hand Parliament has to explain why these people have been prohibited from higher education and from earning a living. This is all interference with the legislative function, and is against the explicit text of the Constitution.

Motahhari added: Also, regarding the issue of the Expediency Discernment Council entering the arena of legislation, it should be said that this matter is also against the Constitution. Article 114 of the Constitution specifies the responsibilities of this Council, which in addition to providing counsel to the Supreme Leader and finding solutions to challenges in the country, arbitrates between Parliament and the Guardian Council.

Referring to the Expediency Discernment Council’s supervisory role over the Regime’s general policies, the Deputy Chair of the Islamic Consultative Assembly stated: It cannot be acceptable that the general policies of the Government which have been conveyed by the Supreme Leader are a part of the Constitution, inasmuch as there was no discussion on general policies when people voted for the Constitution; some of these general policies are contradictory to each other and some are not even policies, but legislation. Therefore, one cannot refute laws sanctioned by the Islamic Consultative Assembly by using the excuse that they are in contradiction to the general policies or say that contradiction to general policies is contrary to the Constitution.  Therefore, the Guardian Council’s citing of Section 2 of Article 110 of the Constitution in this regard is generally erroneous.

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1. For an overview of the history and operation of this body, please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expediency_Discernment_Council.

It says in part: “The Expediency Discernment Council of the System is an administrative assembly appointed by the Supreme Leader and was created upon the revision to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 6 February 1988. It was originally set up to resolve differences or conflicts between the Majlis [Parliament] and the Guardian Council.”

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