by Bashur Azdan
International authorities have so far criticized His Majesty for his reforms, which seems to stem from a lack of information to the outside world. As such, this publication has seen fit to, while publicizing it in Iranian, from here publicize select article's in their English form and alphabet as well, so the rest of the world may finally know what is going on inside Iran. First up will be the recent reforms to the Iranian constitution, so the whole world may know what has really happened.
Previously, most of the constitution had been suspended or largely ignored by the Pahlavi government. His Imperial Majesty has at last ended the end to our democracy and most of the effects that had come about after the ousting of Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953. Yet it has come at a price.
First, we shall talk of the powers of the Shah, as per the constitutional changes :
His Imperial Majesty the reigning Shahanshah retains the right to draft and submit legislation to the National Assembly, the lower house of the Iranian Majlis, our parliament. In times of great need or disaster, National Assembly can vote to cede power temporarily to His Imperial Majesty, who will then rule by decree on advise of the members of the National Assembly until the situation has been resolved. His Imperial Majesty the Shahanshah retains a right to veto all legislation that has passed both house in the interest of the nation, The Shah is strongly advised to only do this if legislation threatens the very soul of the country or threatens its democracy. This veto power can be overruled by a 3/4 majority in both houses.
The National Assembly, the next on our list, has been fully reinstated as the legislative heart of the Imperial State of Iran. It will now count 300 members and one speaker chosen from the National Assembly, whose seat will be filled by a member of the same party during their tenure as Speaker of the National Assembly (When they are nominally independent). All laws and legislation, be they drafted by the Shahanshah or the National Assembly, require an absolute majority in both houses to pass. All reserved seats for religious minorities have been moved into the Imperial Senate. For one to be elected to the National Assembly, you must be 21 years of age or older, be born to Iranian parents, possess a valid passport for the Imperial State of Iran and one must have not served for more then three years in jail without specific permission by court. The National Assembly is now elected by direct party-list proportional representation using the D'Hondt method, with all those older then 21 years of age and Iranian citizenship (Which retains Jus Sanguinis) being permitted to vote. An election date is rumored to be established soon, yet rumors are inconclusive. All constitutional legislation must have a 2/3 majority in both houses.
Next, the Imperial Senate. A hot point of contention, what came out of the Shah's reforms is mind-boggling. The Imperial Senate has expanded to (officially, but defacto 149, one empty Jewish seat and a Speaker of the Imperial Senate) 150 seats and include from now on, 21 clerics from all religions barring the Bahá'í and Yarsanism, who will not be recognized as religious minorities, and even, be persecuted as cults. not religions (to please the Islamists). 15 of them will be Shiite, 3 of them Sunni, one Christian, one Zoroastrian and one Iranian Jew, whose seat will remain vacant out of protest of the Israeli actions in Palestina. 50 people will be appointed at the Shah's behest, while 25 will be members of the nobility. The rest will be appointed by the provincial assemblies, which are elected directly by the people every 4 years, along with the national Assembly. The Imperial Senate can now amend bills, but not propose legislation.
Last, but not least, the requirement of all laws having to pass a committee of Shia clerics will be formally removed. Islam will remain the state religion of Iran, but it recognizes those with religions historical to Iran (Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians) to practice their religion and for one to convert to or from one of those religions. All laws must respect personal freedoms of religion, language and (recognized) culture.
This paragraph worries us, as those of a decidedly more conservative and right wing persuasion will be outraged. We must note that the law had long since been ignored by the Shanshanshah, so its formal removal from the constitution is hardly a surprise. The effective recognition of non Farsi Iranian tongues of Iran comes as a relief to this publication.
While the Shah has certainly re-established a strong Majlis, this publisher must note that what has come out of the constitutional convention called by His Imperial Majesty surprises us. His Imperial Majesty has effectively re-established constitutional rule, all the while maintaining considerable (theoretical) power to his position. This publication must note that effectively, the Shah can veto anything due to his strong position in the Imperial Senate, using those men appointed solely by him to block a veto override. This effectively removes all anti-veto measures from the hands of the legislation.
In conclusion, the Shah's reforms, while reestablishing the Majlis as a strong constitutional power, has not done away with his power. We think of this as a largely positive move, but urge the Shahanshah to call for elections sooner then later and urge the population, at least, for now, support his Majesty in this new Iranian democratic experiment.