Iran Politics

National symbols

The national flag was introduced on July 4th, 1980. It is horizontally striped green, white and red and bears the national coat of arms in red in the middle. On the inner edges of the green and red stripes there is eleven inscription “Allahu akbar” (Allah is big) in Kufic script. The total of 22 repetitions are reminiscent of the return of Ayatollah Khomeini on the 22nd Bahman of the Persian calendar (February 11, 1979). The colors of the flag represent the fertility of the land (green), peace (white), and strength and power (red).

The coat of arms, introduced on May 10, 1980, is highly stylized and designed in the shape of a globe. The vertical in the middle represents a sword, above the symbol “Tashdit” for steadfastness and courage; it is at the same time a sign of duplication for the sword. The four crescent moons to the right and left symbolize the growing together of Islam and, together with the sword, represent the “five pillars” of Islam. The two middle crescents and the sword together form the Persian word for Allah. The green color of the coat of arms refers to the favorite color of the Prophet Mohammed and with the other parts of the coat of arms to Islam as the religious basis of the state.

February 11th commemorates the official ousting of the Shah in 1979, and April 1st (“Day of the Islamic Republic”) commemorates the proclamation of the Republic in 1979.


Although freedom of association is enshrined in the constitution, parties play only a minor role in political decision-making and in elections.


There are no independent trade unions in the European sense. The Labor Code provides for Islamic Labor Councils to represent the workers who are controlled by the Ministry of Labor and the Secret Service.


Iran is divided into 31 provinces (Ostan) and subsequently into sub-provinces (Shahrestan) and districts (Baksch). The provinces are headed by appointed governors.

Administrative division in Iran

Administrative division (2016)
province Area (in km 2) Population(in 1,000) Residents(per km 2) capital city
Alborz 5 122 2,712.4 530 Karaj
Ardebil 17 800 1,270.4 71 Ardebil
Azerbaijan (East) 45 651 3,909.7 86 Tabriz
Azerbaijan (West) 37 411 3,265.2 87 Urmia
Bushehr 22 743 1 163.4 51 Bushehr
Fars 122 608 4,851.3 40 Shiraz
Gilan 14 042 2,530.7 180 Resht
Golestan 20 367 1,868.8 92 Gorgan
Hamadan 19 368 1,738.2 90 Hamadan
Hormuzgan 70 697 1,776.4 25th Bender Abbas
Ilam 20 133 580.2 29 Ilam
Isfahan 107 018 5 120.8 48 Isfahan
Caswin 15 567 1,273.8 82 Caswin
Kerman 180 726 3,164.7 18th Kerman
Kermanshah 25 009 1 952.4 78 Kermanshah
Khorasan-e Rasawi 118 851 6 434.5 54 Meshhed
Khorasan (North) 28 434 863.1 30th Bojnurd
Khorasan (South) 151 193 768.9 5 Birjand
Khusistan 64 055 4,710.5 74 Ah what
Kohgiluyeh and Bojer Ahmadi 15 504 713.1 46 Yes, yes
Cum 11 526 1,292.3 112 Cum
Kurdistan 29 137 1,603.0 55 Sanandadj
Loristan 28 294 1,760.6 62 Khorramabad
Markazi 29 127 1,429.5 49 Arak
Masenderan 23 842 3,283.6 138 sari
Semnan 97 491 702.4 7th Semnan
Sistan and Balochistan 181 785 2,775.0 15th Zahedan
Tehran 13 692 13 267.6 969 Tehran
Tschaharmahal and Bakhtiari 16 328 947.8 58 Shahr-e cord
Yazd 73 477 1 138.5 16 Yazd
Zanjan 21 773 1,057.5 49 Zanjan


The constitution requires laws to conform to Islamic principles. As a result, all laws deemed incompatible with Islam were repealed in 1982, and all courts from before the Islamic Revolution were dissolved. The recodification of criminal law was completed with the 1996 Sharia- based Criminal Code.

At the head of the judiciary is a Chief Justice appointed by the leader of the Islamic Revolution for 5 years, who proposes the Minister of Justice, determines the organization of the courts and appoints the judges. Women can (only) participate in family courts as assessors, but cannot become presiding judges. The court structure consists of three instances. The highest court is the Supreme Court, which oversees the jurisdiction of the lower courts. In addition to the civil and criminal courts, there are special courts (e.g. the special court for clergy), an administrative court and revolutionary courts. The jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Courts relates to crimes against national security and terrorism.


After 1979, the Iranian education system underwent extensive Islamization. School attendance is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 14; the lessons are free of charge. The five-year primary school is followed by a three-year lower and a four-year upper secondary level, which is divided into an academic and a technical-professional branch. Higher education is provided by over 50 universities, including the Islamic Azad University based in Tehran. According to topschoolsintheusa, more than 50% of the students at most universities are now women.


Media and electronic communication are closely monitored, the Internet is extensively censored. The press law prescribes a permit (license) for every publication. Editors and journalists are among others personally liable for “offenses against religious principles” and “anti-state propaganda” and are subject to criminal prosecution. Reporting by foreign correspondents is severely restricted.

Press: About 40% of the publications are state-owned, according to the oldest daily newspaper in the country, »Ettelaat« (Information, founded in 1925, Persian, English) and »Kayhan« (Universum, founded in 1941, daily with an English and an Arabic edition). Big daily newspapers are also »Hamshari« (fellow citizen, founded 1992), »Risalaat« (embassy) and »Aftab-e Jasd« (Sonne von Jasd, founded 2000). “Tehran Times” and “Iran Daily” appear in English. The weekly newspaper with the highest circulation is Ettelaat Haftegi (founded in 1941). Sports newspapers are very popular.

News agencies: Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA, founded in 1934, under this name from 1980), Fars News Agency (FNA), Mehr News Agency (MNA), International Quran News Agency (IQNA).

Broadcasting: The state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB, founded in 1940) broadcasts nationwide, regional and international radio and television programs: “IRIB Television” (founded in 1958) operates among other things. twelve national and 30 regional channels, also in the minority languages. Other channels connected with IRIB are “Al-Alam” (news channel, Arabic) and “Press TV” (English) as well as “Jame Jam” for Iranians abroad. Persian-language channels from abroad are also received via satellite – officially illegally, but tolerated. B. »Gem TV« (Turkey) and »Salaam TV« (USA).

Iran Politics

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