United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

Report: Understanding Iran’s New Leadership

            President Hassan Rouhani’s election has provided an opening for improved relations between Tehran and the West, according to a new report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Cornelius Alexander argues that Iran’s new, more conciliatory approach to solving the nuclear dispute, is “more than just talk, but the West will have to carefully calibrate its response to determine whether Rouhani’s changed rhetoric signals the beginning of a new direction for Iran.” The following are excerpts from the report.

 
The President’s Limited Powers
            At the domestic level, Rouhani quickly felt the limits to the powers his new office would wield, especially given his dependence on the supreme leader. While his mandate may be strong, [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei’s institutional grip on the presidency is stronger. This became clear with Rouhani’s selection of his ministerial cabinet, for which he accommodated the supreme leader’s express wish request that he withdraw the nomination of three individuals who had served as ministers under former president Khatami.60 Once sworn in as president, even his Khamenei-sanctioned list of ministers proved problematic for the conservative dominated parliament, which approved of only fifteen out of eighteen candidates.Parliament accused the three it did not confirm of being too close to the
“sedition” of the Green Movement.
            But Rouhani did successfully exercise his power on one critical issue—changing the composition of the nuclear negotiation team and shifting the responsibility for nuclear talks from the Supreme National Security Council to the Foreign Ministry. Now Mohammad Javad Zarif, former Iranian ambassador to the UN and Rouhani’s foreign minister, leads the negotiations. He stresses that there has been a shift in Iran’s approach by promoting “engagement” with other countries, first and foremost the international negotiation partners. At the same time, Zarif cautions that this reconsideration of Iran’s methods for enacting foreign policy “doesn’t mean a change in principles.”
            As Rouhani faces power struggles with the supreme leader, parliament, and the Revolutionary Guards, his position as a long-standing regime insider commanding influential networks will work to his advantage. He has held powerful positions in nearly all branches of government throughout his career, including as a high-ranking commander during the Iran-Iraq War, a longtime secretary of Iran’s national security council, and the country’s first chief nuclear negotiator. In addition, he has long been a member of both the Assembly of Experts—which elects the supreme leader for life and, theoretically, supervises his conduct in office—and the powerful Expediency Council.
            Rouhani also has at least conditional backing from the supreme leader to conclude the nuclear negotiations with a view to a deal that would give Iran some economic breathing room. Prior to Rouhani’s trip to speak at the September 2013 UN General Assembly in New York, Khamenei announced that he was “not opposed to correct diplomacy” and that he believed in “heroic flexibility,” a statement many interpreted to mean that he would be amenable to a negotiated compromise.63 This interpretation is consistent with the mixed reaction the president received upon his return from New York, with Khamenei explicitly expressing his support for Rouhani’s diplomatic efforts while cautioning that some of what occurred on the New York trip was “not appropriate”—widely understood as a reference to a phone conversation between Rouhani and Obama.
 
A Familiar Ideological Approach
            Since internal power relations are unlikely to change, the question of whether the seemingly “moderate” Rouhani stands for ideological change becomes pertinent. There is significant debate on this point, with some referring to his campaign promises of a government of “prudence and hope,” focused on economic revival and engagement with the world, and others pointing to the unwavering assertiveness of Khamenei’s regime.
With Rouhani’s election, a trained Shia cleric rather than a populist politician again holds the presidency. This means that his religious credentials align with those of the existing regime and that he adheres to the principles guiding the inner circles of the regime. Along these lines, a recent study portrays Rouhani as an “ideologue and defender of the Islamic Revolution” and an “abrasive intellectual.”
            So far, Rouhani’s rhetoric seems to indicate that he is embracing the regime’s ideological tenets and downplaying the more reformist promises from his campaign. Upon the confirmation of his presidency by the supreme leader, one day prior to his official inauguration by the parliament, Rouhani pledged to “take fundamental steps in elevating Iran’s position based on national interest and lifting of the oppressive sanctions.” In a speech following his public inauguration, he combined two themes from his campaign into a very general and ideology-free promise, saying that “moderation and tolerance . . . is the shared aspiration of all” and pledging to “safeguard the great achievements of the Islamic revolution . . . [and] address the concerns of the country and the shortcomings and the limited opportunities the people are suffering in the current situation.”
...
            Rouhani’s presidency has also seen evidence of the regime’s principled pragmatism and its focus on expediency. One example is the supreme leader’s credo of heroic flexibility, which was understood—in Iran as much as in the West—as an attempt by Khamenei to prepare the Iranian public for a compromise and signal to the international community that Rouhani should negotiate a settlement with his blessing. The supreme leader introduced this phrase, which before long was widely disseminated, during an address to a meeting of Revolutionary Guards commanders—that is, to the core of those hardliners that would have to be convinced of the virtues of an international understanding that would put at least some restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program and could signal the beginning of some kind of rapprochement with the United States.
            In introducing the concept of heroic flexibility, Khamenei used a metaphor of a wrestler who shows flexibility but does not forget who his opponent is. In doing so, he made it clear that this shift in policy was tactical in nature—the strategies may change, but the end goal would remain the same. As a senior adviser to Rouhani elaborated, heroic flexibility “does not mean retreating against the enemy but rather achieving the system’s interest by relying on principles and values.” This assessment echoes that of a hardline member of parliament who appears on the EU’s sanctions list: “Heroic flexibility,” Mohammad Saleh Jokar argued, “will never lead to surrender and compromise. Heroic flexibility means insisting upon principles and resistance in the path of defending the given rights of the Iranian nation.”
            Nor did the new, more flexible approach to diplomacy signal a substantial shift in the regime’s ideology, as was evident when the regime celebrated the anniversary of the November 4, 1979, seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. After Rouhani’s trip to New York, a domestic discussion had begun about the appropriateness of demonstrators shouting slogans such as “death to America” (marg bar amrika, also more mildly translated to “down with the United States”) in the midst of a potential thaw in U.S.-Iranian relations. Partly in response to the phone call between Rouhani and Obama, an article in the Iranian newspaper Asre Iran proposed replacing this chant with a more general call for “death to arrogance.” On the same day, former president Rafsanjani made a similar demand, invoking an argument allegedly made by Khomeini that public “death to” chants should be eliminated.
            The proposition to drop the familiar chant immediately met vigorous opposition from the security establishment around the Revolutionary Guards, but it has since received some careful support from people close to the supreme leader. After initially dismissing the idea, Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, Hojatoleslam Ali Saeedi, conceded that eliminating the“death to America” chant exemplifies the changing rather than fixed tactics the Islamic Republic uses to achieve its goals. He was quick to add, however, that “the change of tactics and methods can only take shape at the hands of the Supreme Leader of the time.”And even then, it would not mean an end to the anti-American sentiment that is so engrained in the Islamic Republic…
 
Accepting Established Norms
            On norms, Rouhani is very much in line with the general stance of the country toward international law—that is, he adopts a position of ambivalence. Nothing in his remarks or actions during his first one hundred days in office suggests that he would work against established international norms. However, several of his previous statements point to a manifest uneasiness with, if not outright disregard for, the rules of the world. Immediately after the overthrow of the shah, Rouhani called for an export of the Islamic Revolution even if this were to violate international law, saying it was “not important how the Westernized people judge” Iranians.
            In the early 1990s, at the height of the controversy around Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie, Rouhani made a dual argument about the edict calling for Rushdie’s death. He ascribed it merely to Khomeini in his capacity as a religious authority and not as the supreme leader and head of state. In this understanding, Iran was abiding by its obligations as a state according to international law because no government leader was calling for Rushdie’s execution, but Khomeini could still encourage individual actors to carry out the death sentence because he was speaking about a religious, not political, obligation. This display of “tacit external adherence, but internal opposition, to international law characterizes the Islamic Republic and Rouhani’s true commitment to its principles,” according to one expert.
            When Rouhani became Iran’s top nuclear negotiator in 2003, many in the
West—and especially in Europe—were hopeful that a preliminary deal could be concluded. This optimism proved well-founded, at least in the short term. With the Tehran Declaration of October 2003 and the Paris Agreement of November 2004, Iran opened its nuclear facilities to the IAEA and committed to voluntarily implement the provisions of an Additional Protocol to its IAEA Safeguards Agreement that would grant IAEA inspectors greater access to nuclear sites and require the state to issue a broader declaration of its nuclear activities. Rouhani also agreed to a voluntary suspension of Iran’s nuclear activities, for which he received international praise but was castigated at home. To build his defense—which he used extensively during his presidential campaign—in 2011 Rouhani published his memoirs as the head of the negotiation team, National Security and Nuclear Diplomacy.79 In an early sign of heroic flexibility, he claims he and his team tried to protect “the secrets of the country, and the honor and authority of the System . . . while at the same time building trust with the IAEA and various nations of the world”80—that is, giving away as little as possible while trying to make good on the country’s international obligations. Iran’s concessions of the time were thus acceptable to Rouhani only to the extent that they allowed the country to continue its nuclear program—for example, by completing installation work on the nuclear research facility in Isfahan or producing yellowcake uranium, a material used for weapons-grade enrichment—with much less international pressure.
            Rouhani was thus apparently in favor of furthering Iran’s nuclear program, a stance that raises the question of how he views the nuclear fatwa. There are very few instances in which he is on record speaking about this document. One is in an interview with the Tehran Bureau of PBS Frontline in which he recalls presenting the newly issued fatwa to the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the UK in December 2004 in Tehran: “I told the three European ministers that they should know about two explicit guarantees from our side, one of which is the fatwa of the . . . [supreme leader]. He issued the fatwa and declared the production of nuclear weapons haram [forbidden]. This fatwa is more important to us than the NPT and its Additional Protocol, more important than any other law.” In the interview, Rouhani claims it was his own idea to bring up this issue during their conversation.
            Rouhani also appears to agree with the regime’s position on international norms regarding recognizing Israel, about which he has no inclination to mince his words. In an interview in 2001, he criticized the September 11, 2001, attacks as terrorist acts while claiming that anything Palestinians did against Israelis would be an act of self-defense: “Undoubtedly, if a country is invaded by an occupying force, and is fighting for the freedom of a land and country, then it is considered legitimate defense, even if it includes explosions, assassinations, and suicide operations.”
 
Shifts in Communication
            On one point, Rouhani has diverged significantly from the regime’s entrenched practices: there have been striking changes under the new president in Iran’s communication. For some, this is “only talk,” first and foremost for those who agree with the Israeli prime minister’s assessment of Rouhani as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” But communication is a political category of great importance. Talk without action still has significance simply because it matters how politicians talk to each other. Especially in this initial phase of new communication between Iran and the West, words can bear a symbolism that has political effect. Of course, if talk remains without actual backing for some time, it becomes empty.
Rouhani’s UN speech testified to the power words can have. Speaking a week before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Iranian president flatly refuted any notion of an “Iranian threat.” Instead, he declared that Iran “has been a harbinger of just peace and comprehensive security.” There was no Israeli official present at the speech to hear this, but there were plenty of journalists to report it. Western media jumped on the part of the speech in which Rouhani promised that Iran was “prepared to engage immediately in time-bound and result-oriented talks to build mutual confidence and removal of mutual uncertainties with full transparency.”
            While there were some new and hopeful words in this address, its tenor was a well-known one, steeped in praise for Iran and criticism of America. That said, there was also a follow-up in the form of a constructive first-ever P5+1 meeting with Iran at the level of foreign ministers—and hence the encounter between foreign ministers John Kerry of the United States and MohammadJavad Zarif of Iran, the highest level of bilateral contact between the two countries since the first year of the Islamic Revolution. In that sense, the speech can be seen as laying the groundwork for the meetings between the P5+1 and Iran that led to an interim agreement in late November 2013, less than two weeks after Rouhani formally concluded his first one hundred days in office.
            This new level of communication was facilitated by the fact that Rouhani has kept up lines of contact he established with his Western counterparts during his leadership of the Center for Strategic Research in Tehran, a think tank that conducts research for the Expediency Council on political and economic affairs. Through the center, Rouhani had access to both Iran’s intellectual elites and their international counterparts. So when EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton or European Parliament President Martin Schulz wrote letters to Rouhani to congratulate him on his inauguration, they were not addressing an unknown.
            It also helped that both Rouhani and Zarif, in addition to other members of Rouhani’s government, heavily engaged in the use of Twitter and Facebook even before assuming their offices. The simple fact that both politicians have accounts with these U.S.-based social media outlets and actively use them is meaningful. After only three months in office, the foreign minister had more than 550,000 likes on Facebook while the president’s English-language Twitter account had more than 120,000 followers. With countless tweets and retweets during his visit to New York, it is undeniable that Rouhani’s team knows about the power of social media.
            But in a country where access to international information and news on the
Internet is tightly controlled and social media sites have been generally blocked since they played a major role in organizing the 2009 revolt, Rouhani’s use of Twitter and Zarif’s activity on Facebook also send a mixed message. Here, too, it will be deeds that count—that is, the extent to which the Rouhani government lives up to its campaign promises to provide the citizens with free access to information. Hopes sparked briefly in mid-September when, in the week before the UN General Assembly, the banned social media sites were available throughout Iran—but only for a day, after which they were again blocked. Rather than a newfound freedom, this appears to have been a technical glitch or even a testing of the waters by elements within the establishment...
            On the international stage, Rouhani has made significant strides in improving Iran’s channels of communication. The United Kingdom and Iran have It is undeniable that Rouhani’s team knows about the power of social media. But in a country where access to international information and news on the Internet is tightly controlled and social media sites have been generally blocked, Rouhani’s use of Twitter and Zarif’s activity on Facebook also send a mixed message.

 

Click here for the full report.

 
 
Tags: Reports

IMF Report: Iran’s Economy Weak

            Government mismanagement, rampant inflation and international sanctions have taken a heavy toll on Iran’s economy, according to a new study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Martin Cerisola, Assistant Director for the Middle East and Central Asia Department, visited Tehran from January 25 to February 8 to conduct organization’s first field-based research on Iran in nearly three years. “Inflation and unemployment are high, while the corporate and banking sectors show signs of weakness,” he said in a statement. Cerisola urged Tehran to advance “reforms to promote stability, investment, and productivity” to help with high unemployment and the low growth rate. The economy actually shrunk in 2013. Cerisola noted that the Hassan Rouhani’s administration has “begun the preparatory work” for reform.

            The IMF’s findings contrasted with the upbeat tone Tehran has taken since the interim nuclear agreement was brokered in November 2013. Officials have been optimistic about prospects for economic improvements and the eventual lifting of sanctions. But Cerisola warned that those prospects “still remain highly uncertain.” The following are excerpts from his statement. A more comprehensive study is slated for release in late March 2014.
 
Statement at the Conclusion of the 2014 Article IV Consultation Mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran
            “Large shocks and weak macroeconomic management over the past several years have had a significant impact on macroeconomic stability and growth. A combination of shocks, associated with the implementation of the first phase of the subsidy reform, ambitious social-programs inadequately funded, and a marked deterioration in the external environment stemming from the intensification of trade and financial sanctions, have weakened the economy. Inflation and unemployment are high, while the corporate and banking sectors show signs of weakness. These shocks have exposed structural weaknesses in the economy and in the policy framework.
 
            “Iran now stands at a crossroad. With risks that the economy could continue to face a low-growth and high-inflation environment ahead, there is a need to begin advancing reforms to promote stability, investment, and productivity. The new authorities should embark on a prompt and vigorous implementation of fundamental reforms to the frameworks supporting product, labor, and credit markets. These reforms would lay the basis for sustained high growth and lower unemployment, especially if the external environment continues to improve. The new authorities are well aware of these challenges and the need to advance reforms, and have begun the preparatory work in many of these areas.
 
            “The pace of contraction in economic activity is slowing. The economy has continued to shrink in the first half of 2013/14 (the Iranian calendar and fiscal years run from March 21 to March 20), and staff expects further but diminishing contraction in the second half, with real gross domestic product (GDP) declining by 1-2 percent in 2013/14. Twelve-month inflation has dropped rapidly, from about 45 percent in July 2013 to below 30 percent in December 2013. This drop reflects tighter CBI credit, the appreciation of the Rial, and global disinflation in some key staples. Inflation could end at 20-25 percent by end-2013/14.
 
            “Prospects for 2014/15 have improved with the interim P5+1 agreement but still remain highly uncertain. Under the current external environment, staff projects economic activity to begin to stabilize in 2014/15, with real GDP growing by 1-2 percent in 2014/15. Inflation would potentially decline to 15-20 percent, excluding the impact of planned higher domestic energy prices.
 
            “Comprehensive reforms are needed to address many complex challenges:
 

 

The Policies for Dealing with Stagflation
            A three-pronged strategy to arrest stagflation should be centered on: i) tightening monetary policy; ii) balanced fiscal consolidation; and iii) advancing supply-side reforms (see below).
•Tighter monetary policy will help entrench disinflation. Staff analysis suggests that the output costs of disinflation in Iran could be low. While some of the recent deceleration in inflation may be temporary, the steps taken by the CBI to remove the financing of the Mehr Housing program from its balance sheet bode well for controlling liquidity and stabilizing inflation in the future. It would be important to begin increasing profit rates gradually to firmly anchor expectations and contain second-round effects from the planned increases in domestic energy prices.
 
•Containing the general government fiscal deficit at around 2-3 percent of GDP should help balance the support for disinflation and the economy. The 2014/15 draft budget continues with the government’s decision to consolidate fiscal policy in light of the sharp decline in oil revenues. Staff welcomes the proposed measures to begin broadening the revenue base away from oil, most notably, the decision to bring forward and increase the scheduled value added tax (VAT) rate, as well as the reforms to strengthen tax administration, including the reform of tax exemptions for large non-taxpayers. Staff sees scope to further increase the VAT rate in the years ahead, as well as to introduce a capital gains tax on specific activities that have experienced large gains. These measures would help to improve the quality of the fiscal adjustment and help lay the ground for a sustainable fiscal policy ahead.
 
•With the economy vulnerable at this juncture, the timing of advancing the subsidy reform should be carefully assessed. Increasing domestic energy prices is an important step to continue with the much needed reform to reduce energy consumption, improve the efficiency of the economy, and help close an estimated cash deficit of the Targeted Subsidy Organization of about 1 percent of GDP. The authorities’ intention to adjust prices gradually is prudent given stagflation risks but, as the experience of the first phase showed, external shocks could significantly undermine the hard-won stability of the currency and the envisaged relative price adjustment. In addition, the reforms needed to tighten budget constraints in the corporate sector are difficult and have yet to be well-established, notwithstanding the envisaged support to specific sectors. Without these conditions, there are risks to sustaining consistent macroeconomic policies through such relative price change.
 
Strengthening the Policy Framework for Macroeconomic Stability
•Monetary policy needs to place greater emphasis on price stability. For this, the CBI’s mandate needs to be simplified and refocused toward price stability. The CBI also needs to be granted with the operational ability to target base money consistently, by being able to set profit rates at levels that allow its limited instruments to be used effectively to respond to macroeconomic conditions. It is essential to bring the institutional decision-making setup at the Monetary and Credit Council in line with those of countries that have successfully resolved chronic inflation…
 
•The intention to unify the foreign exchange market as external conditions normalize is welcome. In the transition, the authorities should continue to manage the exchange rate flexibly in light of external risks and still high inflation, which is eroding competitiveness. The assessment of the official exchange rate is subject to an unusual degree of uncertainty due to the external environment and prospects. In current circumstances, the official exchange rate would be moderately overvalued, with the parallel market rate closer to equilibrium.
 
Reforms to Promote Financial Stability, Jobs, and Growth
•The state of the banking system and the regulatory-supervisory framework. Staff noted an overall satisfaction among market participants with the direction the CBI is imparting to financial sector policies. Nonetheless, staff sees an urgent need to strengthen the CBI’s supervisory powers and enforcement capacity, as well as the legal protection of its staff. Staff welcomes the CBI’s initial steps toward a risk-based approach to supervision. Staff shares the view of some market participants about the scope for leveling the field of competition in the system through further privatization and reforms to government-mandated credit policies. Current proposals to deal with nonperforming loans and recapitalize public banks need to be better specified and should be supported by concrete restructuring plans and reforms to enhance their risk management and accountability. In terms of crisis preparedness, it would be important to strengthen the bank resolution framework and putting the deposit guarantee fund on a sustainable financial footing. Staff held discussions on the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism framework.
 
•Reforms to improve the business environment and foster employment are complementary. Discussions with representatives from different economic sectors suggest the need to enhance the enforcement of the rule of law and property rights, maintain policy and macroeconomic stability, and enhance the transparency of policy making. Facing large potential entrants into the labor force in the years ahead, reforms are needed to facilitate the reallocation of labor across sectors and lower nonwage labor costs. A review of labor regulations that ease the rigidity of contracts and costs of labor could help to significantly absorb discouraged and informal workers and facilitate youth employment.
 
Click here for the full statement by Martin Cerisola.
 

Members of Congress Support Iran Diplomacy

            More than 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a bipartisan letter supporting diplomacy with Iran on its controversial nuclear program. They sent the letter to President Barack Obama just days before negotiations on a final deal are set to begin in Vienna. Representative David Price (D-NC) said, “I believe that we must take advantage of the opportunity before us to pursue a peaceful, diplomatic resolution to Iran’s nuclear program, and that we must resist calls by some in Congress to prematurely enact a bill or resolution that risks inadvertently derailing or impeding our ongoing negotiations.” The following is the full text of the letter and the list of signers.

 
Dear Mr. President,
 
As Members of Congress—and as Americans—we are united in our unequivocal commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The proliferation of nuclear weapons in the
Middle East would threaten the security of the United States and our allies in the region,
particularly Israel.
 
The ongoing implementation of the Joint Plan of Action agreed to by Iran and the “P5+1”
nations last November increases the possibility of a comprehensive and verifiable international agreement. We understand that there is no assurance of success and that, if talks break down or Iran reneges on pledges it made in the interim agreement, Congress may be compelled to act as it has in the past by enacting additional sanctions legislation. At present, however, we believe that Congress must give diplomacy a chance. A bill or resolution that risks fracturing our international coalition or, worse yet, undermining our credibility in future negotiations and jeopardizing hard-won progress toward a verifiable final agreement, must be avoided.
 
We remain wary of the Iranian regime. But we believe that robust diplomacy remains our best
possible strategic option, and we commend you and your designees for the developments in
Geneva. Should negotiations fail or falter, nothing precludes a change in strategy. But we must not imperil the possibility of a diplomatic success before we even have a chance to pursue it.
 
Sincerely,
 
1 Bass
2 Beatty
3 Bishop, Sanford
4 Blumenauer
5 Bordallo
6 Brown
7 Butterfield, GK
8 Capps
9 Capuano
10 Carson
11 Cartwright
12 Christensen
13 Clarke, Yvette
14 Clay
15 Cleaver
16 Clyburn
17 Cohen
18 Connolly
19 Conyers
20 Cooper
21 Courtney
22 Cummings
23 Davis, Danny
24 DeFazio
25 DeGette
26 DeLauro 27 Dingell
28 Doggett
29 Duncan Jr (R)
30 Edwards
31 Ellison
32 Enyart
33 Eshoo
34 Farr
35 Foster
36 Fudge, Marcia
37 Garamendi
38 Grijalva
39 Gutierrez
40 Hanna (R)
41 Holt
42 Huffman
43 Jackson-Lee
44 Johnson, EB
45 Johnson, Hank
46 Jones, Walter (R)
47 Kaptur
48 Keating
49 Kelly, Robin
50 Kildee
51 Kuster
52 Larson
53 Lee, Barbara
54 Lewis
55 Loebsack
56 Lofgren
57 Lynch
58 Matheson
59 Massie (R)
60 McCarthy
61 McCollum
62 McDermott
63 McGovern
64 McNerney, Jerry
65 Meeks
66 Miller, George 67 Moore
68 Moran, Jim
69 Negrete McLeod
70 Nolan
71 Norton
72 O'Rourke
73 Pastor
74 Payne
75 Pierluisi
76 Pingree
77 Pocan
78 Polis
79 Price, David
80 Rahall
81 Rangel
82 Roybal-Allard
83 Ruppersberger
84 Rush
85 Ryan, Tim
86 Sablan
87 Schakowsky
88 Scott, Bobby
89 Shea-Porter
90 Slaughter
91 Speier
92 Takano
93 Thompson, Bennie
94 Thompson, Mike
95 Tierney
96 Tonko
97 Tsongas
98 Van Hollen
99 Velazquez
100 Visclosky
101 Walz
102 Waters
103 Welch
104 Yarmuth
 

A Final Nuclear Deal: Getting from Here to There with Iran

Joe Cirincione

      The stakes could not be higher—or the issues tougher—as the world’s six major powers and Iran launch talks February 18 on final resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis.
 
      The goal “is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful,” says the temporary Joint Plan of Action, which calls for six months of negotiations. If talks fail, the prospects of military action—and potentially another Middle East conflict—soar.
 
            Six issues are pivotal to an accord. The terms on each must be accepted by all parties—Iran on one side and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States on the other—or there is no deal. The Joint Plan notes, “This comprehensive solution would constitute an integrated whole where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
 
1. Limiting Uranium Enrichment
 
            Iran’s ability to enrich uranium is at the heart of the international controversy. The process can fuel both peaceful nuclear energy and the world’s deadliest weapon. Since 2002, Iran’s has gradually built an independent capability to enrich uranium, which it claims is only for medical research and to fuel an energy program. But the outside world has long been suspicious of Tehran’s intentions because its program exceeds its current needs. Iran’s only nuclear reactor for energy, in the port city of Bushehr, is fueled by the Russian contractor that built it.
 
      Centrifuges are the key to enriching uranium. In 2003, Iran had fewer than 200 centrifuges. In 2014, it has approximately 19,000. About 10,000 are now enriching uranium; the rest are installed but not operating. To fuel a nuclear power reactor, centrifuges are used to increase the ratio of the isotope U-235 in natural uranium from less than one percent to between three and five percent. But the same centrifuges can also spin uranium gas to 90 percent purity, the level required for a bomb.
 
            Experts differ on how many centrifuges Iran should be allowed to operate. Zero is optimal, but Iran almost certainly will not agree to eliminate totally a program costing billions of dollars over more than a decade. Iranian officials fear the outside world wants Tehran to be dependent on foreign sources of enriched uranium, which could then be used as leverage on Iran—under threat of cutting off its medical research and future nuclear energy independence.
 
            Most experts say somewhere between 4,000 and 9,000 operating centrifuges would allow many months of warning time if Iran started to enrich uranium to bomb-grade levels. The fewer centrifuges, the longer Iran would need to “break out” from fuel production to weapons production.
 
            So the basic issues are: Can the world’s major powers convince Iran to disable or even dismantle some of the operating centrifuges?  If so, how low will Iran agree to go? And will Iran agree to cut back enrichment to only one site, which would mean closing the underground facility at Fordow?
 
            A deal may generally have to include:
 
      •reducing the number of Iran’s centrifuges,
      •limiting uranium enrichment to no more than five percent.  
      •capping centrifuge capabilities at current levels.
 
            In short, as George Shultz and Henry Kissinger say, a deal must “define a level of Iranian nuclear capacity limited to plausible civilian uses and to achieve safeguards to ensure that this level is not exceeded.”
 
2. Preventing a Plutonium Path
 
      Iran’s heavy water reactor in Arak, which is unfinished, is another big issue. Construction of this small research reactor began in the 1990s; the stated goal was producing medical isotopes and up to 40 megawatts of thermal power for civilian use. But the “reactor design appears much better suited for producing bomb-grade plutonium than for civilian uses,” warned former Secretary of Defense William Perry and former Los Alamos Laboratory Director Siegfried Hecker.
 
            For years, Iranian officials allowed weapons inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog, intermittent access to Arak. Inspectors have been granted more access since the Joint Plan of Action went into effect on January 20. But satellite imagery can no longer monitor site activity due to completion of the facility’s outer structure.
 
            The reactor will be capable of annually producing nine kilograms of plutonium, which is enough material to produce one or two nuclear weapons. However, the reactor is at least a year away from operating, and then it would need to run for 12 to 18 months to generate that much plutonium. Iran also does not have a facility to reprocess the spent fuel to extract the plutonium. In early February, Iranian officials announced they would be willing to modify the design plans of the reactor to allay Western concerns, although they provided no details. 
 
3. Verification
 
            The temporary Joint Plan allows more extensive and intrusive inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities. U.N. inspectors now have daily access to Iran’s primary enrichment facilities at the Natanz and Fordow plants, the Arak heavy water reactor, and the centrifuge assembly facilities. Inspectors are now also allowed into Iran’s uranium mines.
 
            Over the next six months, negotiations will have to define a reliable long-term inspection system to verify that Iran’s nuclear program is used only for peaceful purposes. A final deal will have to further expand inspections to new sites. The most sensitive issue may be access to sites suspected of holding evidence of Iran’s past efforts to build an atomic bomb. The IAEA suspects, for example, that Iran tested explosive components needed for a nuclear bomb at Parchin military base.
 
      Iran may be forthcoming on inspections. Its officials have long held that transparency—rather than reduction of capabilities—is the key to assuring the world that its program is peaceful. They have indicated a willingness to implement stricter inspections required under the IAEA’s Additional Protocol—and maybe even go beyond it. But they are also likely to want more inspections matched by substantial sanctions relief and fewer cutbacks on the numbers of centrifuges in operation. At least four of the six major powers—the United States, Britain, France and Germany—will almost certainly demand both increased inspections and fewer, less capable centrifuges.
 
4. Clarifying the Past  
           
            The issue is not just Iran’s current program and future potential. Several troubling questions from the past must also be answered. The temporary deal created a Joint Commission to work with the IAEA on past issues, including suspected research on nuclear weapon technologies. Iran denies that it ever worked on nuclear weapons, but the circumstantial evidence about past Iranian experiments is quite strong.
 
            Among the issues:
 
      •research on polonium-210, which can be used as a neutron trigger for a nuclear bomb,
      •research on a missile re-entry vehicle, which could be used to deliver a nuclear weapon, and
      •suspected high-explosives testing, which could be used to compress a bomb core to critical mass.
 
      Iran may be reluctant to come clean unless it is guaranteed amnesty for past transgressions—and can find a way to square them with its many vigorous denials. And any suspicions that Iran is lying will undermine even rigorous new inspections that verify Iran's technology is now being used solely for civilian purposes.
 
      On February 8, in a potential breakthrough, the IAEA and Iran agreed on specific actions that Iran would take to provide information and explanations of its past activities. “Resolution of these issues will allow the agency to verify the completeness and correctness of Iran’s nuclear activities,” says Kelsey Davenport of the Arms Control Association, “and help ensure that Tehran is not engaged in undeclared activities.”   Resolving all past issues before a final agreement may prove difficult, however. Negotiations may instead produce a process for eventual resolution.
 
5. Sanctions Relief
 
            Iran’s primary goal is to get access to some $100 billion in funds frozen in foreign banks and to end the many sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy. Since the toughest U.S. sanctions were imposed in mid-2012, Iran’s currency and oil exports have both plummeted by some 60 percent.
 
            The temporary Joint Plan of Action says a final agreement will “comprehensively lift UN Security Council, multilateral and national nuclear-related sanctions…on a schedule to be agreed upon.” (It does not, however, address sanctions imposed on other issues, such as support for extremist groups or human rights abuses.) The United States and the Europeans may want to keep some sanctions in place until they are assured that Iran is meeting new obligations.
 
      The specter of the U.S. Congress will overshadow negotiations. Its approval will be required to remove the most onerous sanctions over the past five years. “The U.S. Congress will have to allow meaningful sanctions relief to Iran, just as Iran’s hard-liners are going to have to be convinced not to stand on principle when it comes to their ‘right’ to enrich and their demand to have all sanctions lifted,” says Brookings Institution scholar Ken Pollack, “The U.S. Congress is going to have to agree to allow Iran’s economy to revive and Tehran’s hard-liners are going to have to be satisfied with the revival of their economy and some very limited enrichment activity.”
 
 
 
6. The Long and Winding Road
 
            The final but critical issue is timing: How long is a long-term deal? It will clearly require years to prove Iran is fully compliant. But estimates vary widely from five to 20 years. Another alternative is a series of shorter agreements that build incrementally on one another.
 
            For all the big issues ahead, both sides have an interest in negotiating a deal. The world’s six major powers want to curtail more of Iran’s program, while Iran wants to revive its economy and normalize its international relations. If the negotiators succeed, they will make history. Their failure could open the path to a nuclear-armed Iran or a new war in the Middle East – or both.
    

Joseph Cirincione is president of Ploughshares Fund and author of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World before It Is Too Late

 

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Photo credits: U.S. State Department, NuclearEnergy.ir, Amano and Zarif by Mueller / MSC [CC-BY-3.0-de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

President Rouhani’s New Rights Charter

Hadi Ghaemi
 
            On November 26, 2013, President Rouhani’s government published a draft Citizens’ Rights Charter and solicited public reaction. The publication of this draft within the first 100 days of his presidency was widely seen as a major step by his administration to address his promises to improve the state of human rights in Iran.
 
            The draft Charter is viewed as a welcome step by Iranian and international rights groups, but they also pointed out major deficiencies.
 
Strengths
 
      The main strength of Rouhani’s proposed Charter is that it recognizes the current “security environment” has degraded people’s fundamental rights. Simply proposing the Charter facilitates public dialogue on this pressing issue. It has created limited space for the Iranian media to discuss the human rights situation—for years an off-limit subject—and the need for improvements. It has also helped identify the state institutions that are chiefly responsible for rights violations and the arbitrary implementation of the rule of the law by the judiciary, intelligence organizations, and the Revolutionary Guards, a necessary prerequisite for accountability.
 
 
            The Charter ostensibly addresses a wide range of rights, including access to information and online content; freedom of opinion, expression and the press; due process and the rule of law; and the rights of religious and ethnic minorities.
 
            Finally, the Charter’s range of concerns is enhanced by its references to social and economic rights, albeit including some seemingly irrelevant clauses.
 
Weaknesses
 
            Despite its ambitious list of rights to address, the draft Charter suffers from serious shortcomings, both in terms of its unclear legal status within the Iranian legal system and in the actual content of the Charter itself.
 
            Iran is a signatory to major international human rights treaties and its own constitution contains many clauses guaranteeing basic rights, so it is not clear why the president felt a charter is needed. Rouhani opted to create a new standard rather than focus on full implementation of existing rights in the constitution, domestic laws or international treaties to which Iran is a signatory. The new charter fails to do several things. It does not create effective mechanisms for the protection and promotion of these rights. It does not clarify ambiguities or close loopholes in existing law. It does not address security laws routinely used by the courts to circumvent protections and stifle dissent, imprison critics, and violate the fundamental rights of Iranian citizens. Specifically:
 
• Under the “Right to Life” section, the Charter fails to address the fact that Iran is a leading state in implementing capital punishment. The judiciary routinely executes people for crimes that do not meet international standards for capital punishment. The charter fails to propose any specific ways to guarantee fair trials, implement internationally accepted safeguards, or adopt internationally accepted standards regarding capital punishment.
 
• Regarding the exercise of fundamental rights, the Charter contains language that reinforces existing security laws used to restrict freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly. The draft Charter reiterates vague and open-ended conditions and disclaimers, restricting freedoms with phrases such as “within the framework of the law,” or “with due consideration to Islam.”
 
• On women’s rights, the draft Charter contains few details and completely avoids the most glaring shortcoming of Iran’s existing legal codes that explicitly discriminate against women on personal status matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, child custody, travel, and legal testimony.
 
• The draft Charter fails to explicitly define who is considered “a citizen” and therefore entitled to rights. For example, it makes no reference to at least 3 million Afghan and Iraqi refugees and migrants who live and work in Iran.
 
• The draft Charter is silent on cruel and inhuman punishments routinely employed under existing law, such as stoning, hanging, amputation, and flogging.
 
• On religious minority rights, the draft Charter fails to recognize Baha’is, one of the largest religious minorities in Iran, as citizens who should enjoy equal rights.
 
Hadi Ghaemi is the executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
 
Click here to read Hadi Ghaemi’s chapter on Iran’s judiciary from The Iran Primer.
 
Rouhani's Draft Charter on Citizens' Rights
 
            The following is a full English text of the draft citizenship rights charter provided by the UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed and the Human Rights in Iran Unit at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College. Click here for a pdf version.
 
First Chapter – General Guidelines
 
Article 1 – General Guidelines governing this Charter are:
1-1 All Iranian citizens, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, wealth, social class, race, etc. enjoy citizenship rights and the foreseen guarantees in rules and regulations. This Charter will have no effect on the other rights of Iranian citizens and citizens of other countries as determined in other rights and regulations or international conventions (to which Iran has joined according to regulations).
 
1-2 This Charter has been organized with the aim to integrate, identify, and state citizenship rights, and its provisions shall be interpreted and enforced compatible and in harmony with each other and with the other laws and regulations, in a way that they would not limit any of the other identified and recognized citizenship rights, and human integrity and dignity must be consistently respected and supported at the highest possible levels.
 
1-3 According to the teachings of Islam, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the foundations of this nation’s national, religious [deeni], and history of civilization, to identify, develop, implement, and ensure the people’s citizenship rights and to utilize the available tools for promotion of the laws, regulations, and policies for achieving these rights, is the duty of the Government.
 
1-4 Failure to observe the citizenship rights stipulated in the laws and regulations will realize the legal guarantees set forth for the violation of those laws and officials who have violated or neglected to enforce these rules or regulations will be treated according to the general rules and regulations, and especially laws related to administrative violations and criminal codes.
 
1-5 This Charter attempts to recognize the duties of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in achieving the goals related to the realization of the rights of the citizens and as such all executive agencies are required to observe this resolution to provide the environment to implement, monitor, and develop these instances within the framework of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Islam Sharia Law, and other laws and regulations (using the existing capacities or proposed legislation or adopted regulations).
 
1-6 The provisions of this charter aim to state citizenship rights and the Government’s intended goals and indicators in order to propose reforms in the laws within related bills, or to carry out other necessary actions. This Charter is the Government’s “plan and policy” and does not intend to create new rights or duties or to develop or restrict them. It is merely a statement of a collection of the most important citizenship rights, which have either been identified in the existing laws with specific limitations and a statement of their guarantees, or that considering the provisions of this Charter, the Government will pursue the policy and reforms plan and development of the legal system, and will formulate and pursue the adoption of legislation, in order to achieve a practical, serious, and extensive effort through cooperation from the other branches of Government and the related officials.
 
Second Chapter – The Most Important Citizenship Rights
 
Article 2 – The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has stated the following as the most important citizenship rights and will place their implementation and guarantees as a top priority and will employ a serious and multi-faceted effort to realize, enforce, and guarantee them.
 
Article 3 – The Government is obligated to enforce the necessary measures and actions, particularly through developing and implementing a comprehensive program of reforms and development of the legal system, in order to implement and enforce the public rights and liberties foreseen in the Constitution, common laws, and this resolution.
 
Life, Health, and Decent Living
3-1 Citizens have the right to life. No citizen can be deprived of the right to life, except in accordance with rulings issued by competent courts that are convened according to legal standards that observe the principles of fair trials.
 
3-2 Enjoying a decent life, including suitable food, clothing, housing, education, hygiene, and medical care are among the rights of the citizens.
 
3-3 Within rules and regulations, executive organizations are obligated to take necessary actions to increase public health levels, protect the basic rights to life, suitable living conditions, health and hygiene, reducing child mortality rate and increasing longevity among citizens, easy, cheap, and extensive access to medical care, medicine, and medical, treatment, and hygiene equipment, goods and services, according to national standards, and provision and promotion of health, healthy and suitable living conditions for continuation of life among individuals. The Government is required to oversee medical treatment centers to ensure better treatment conditions.
 
3-4 Citizens have the right to enjoy physical and spiritual health.
 
3-5 Citizens have the right to enjoy a safe living and working environment, free of physical and psychological harm.
 
3-6 The Government is obligated to provide the basis for all citizens to enjoy all aspects of social security and financial and credit-related support and services in cases of illness, disability, unemployment, old age, absence of a guardian, abandonment, accidents and calamities, and need for health services and medical care in the shape of insurance as a public right as provided by the law.
 
3-7 Citizens enjoy the right to have access to suitable medical care and treatment.
 
3-8 Citizens must enjoy a happy life accompanied with hope for a better future from birth and within all social environments.
 
3-9 The Government is obligated to implement necessary policies to ensure that citizens have sufficient circumstances to enjoy conditions and facilities to hold ceremonies and fun programs, hold national and religious [mazhab] celebrations, carry out recreational, travel, and tourism programs, stay at natural habitats, have access to cheap travel, reading opportunities, hobbies, and literary, artistic, and entertainment activities.
 
3-10 Citizens enjoy the right to freedom, individual security, psychological, employment, cultural, social, investment, stable life, and discipline freedoms, and all the other legal and practical manifestations of security. This right is not revocable and its restriction will only be possible by law.
 
Freedom of Opinion, Expression, and Press
3-11 Citizens have the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to express, promote and disseminate ideas and opinions in verbal, written, and electronic forms or through any other means by the citizen’s own choosing in compliance with the law.
 
3-12 Inquisition is prohibited. No one can be forced to accept or hold a particular opinion or to prevent anyone from it.
 
3-13 Every real and legal person is free to express their opinions and feelings about any issue and in any kind of intellectual, literary, and artistic creative form and in any media format and content, within the framework of announced legal criteria.
 
3-14 All elements of the Government have the duty to support, protect and respect all political, social and cultural variations in order to preserve the freedom of the press, so the Government should provide grounds for the formation and activity of free and independent media.
 
3-15 All people have the right to free access to all media and information sources within the laws.
 
3-16 The Government respects freedom of the press and the media, be it paper or electronic, and all audio-visual media (including websites, blogs, television networks, the Internet, etc.) so long as they do not violate the principles of Islam or public rights, within the framework of the law.
 
3-17 Journalists and media should not face threats or punishment while collecting and disseminating information and contents. State-owned or state-controlled entities, within the framework of laws and regulations, must not prevent media’s free access to the information they need.
 
3-18 The Government is responsible to provide the legal grounds to reasonably, fairly, equally, and in a non-discriminatory way provide occupational standards for media workers, including welfare measures, insurance coverage, job security, and supportive coverage against undue pressures. Economic livelihoods of media workers must not be threatened by the Government and state-controlled organizations.
 
Access to Information
3-19 Iranian citizens must have free access to all laws and regulations or decisions made by public organizations within the Executive Branch and related to their dignity in life, within the laws and so long as it is not against national security, and no one can limit their information, awareness, and access to laws and regulations that create rights and responsibilities for them.
 
3-20 Every citizen has the right, in the broadest form and exclusively limited by legal exceptions, to have access to information or records compiled on him in public, governmental, and non-governmental organizations that directly or indirectly use public resources and funds or which have public functions, by merely requesting to access the information and to be informed of decisions public organizations make related to him. All citizens have the right to have facsimiles of the aforementioned information, records and decisions about themselves.

 

Cultural Identity, Media Expression, and Artistic Creation
3-21 All Iranian citizens have the right for their cultural, ethnic, religious [mazhabi], and linguistic identities to be recognized and they should be afforded legal protection without any discrimination.
 
3-22 The Government is obligated to facilitate free use of regional and ethnic languages and dialects in addition to the Persian language with cooperation from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), keeping the national unity and the totality of the Iranian identity intact.
 
3-23 All Iranian citizens have the right to the necessary tools for their full participation in all aspects of their specific group’s cultural life, including the establishment of institutions, organizations, and associations, holding meetings, observing religious [deen] and ethnic rituals, and cultural customs and traditions, within the framework of laws and regulations.
 
3-24 The Government is obligated to preserve all historical and cultural monuments and heritages throughout the country, regardless of to which different ethnic, cultural and religious [mazhabi] groups they belong.
3-25 All citizens are entitled to benefit from intellectual and moral excellence, and the Government is obligated to facilitate the necessary background to provide citizens the opportunity for worship, self-improvement, and spiritual enlightenment.
 
3-26 The Government is obligated to remove barriers to the development of morality and spirituality. These barriers facilitate issues such as poverty, fear, and ignorance that lead to human bondage vis a vis wealth, power, and disillusionment.
 
3-27 The Government is required to respect the rights of the children’s parents and legal guardians in providing religious [mazhabi] and moral education to their children according to their own beliefs.
 
3-28 Arts, as an expression of creativity and prosperity of the human character, as in other shapes of expression in all its forms, including music, theater, cinema, literature, caricatures, paintings, visual arts, and literary works is free and all citizens have the right to freely produce and present their artistic and literary works within the framework of law.
 
3-29 The Government is obliged to guarantee the freedom of creation, education, and presentation of arts, and to support its citizens against violations of it, according to rules and regulations. Any material and spiritual support by the Government of the arts, in all its shapes and forms, shall be done without discrimination and according to regulations.
 
3-30 The Government is obligated to provide the mechanism for the private sector’s participation in all stages of production and presentation of all kinds of arts. The activists in each of the artistic fields have the right to freely establish trade unions and professional organizations within the framework of the laws and regulations.
 
Private Domain
3-31 The citizens’ private domain and life, residence, vehicles, and personal items is protected from arbitrary interference, search, and review without legal permission and violating personal information and data of citizens, searching, collecting, processing, using, and revealing citizens’ correspondence, whether electronic or non-electronic, or their postal packages is not allowed. Illegal inspection, confiscation, searching, reviewing, reading, banning, or destroying of letters and long-distance communications such as telephone communications, telegraph, facsimile, wireless, and personal Internet communications of citizens and their eavesdropping, tapping, and censorship without legal permission is illegal.
 
3-32 Collecting personal information by private or public entities must be used through legal means and based on the individual’s consent or through legal authorization. Individuals have the right to have access to the information collected on them and in case of errors, they have the right to request correction to the information.
 
3-33 Private information pertaining to individuals may not be released to others, unless according to law or with the individual’s consent.
 
3-34 The media must observe the individuals’ private domain and if they insult, slander, or cause material or non-material loss, they must be accountable.

 

Administrative Health, Proper Governance, and Rule of Law
3-35 Proper management of the society and its observation by administrative and operational officials in order to bring fairness to administrative decisions, observe the requirements for proper governance, protect personal dignity, strengthen citizen participation, strengthen justification of administrative decisions, and improve the quality of administrative decision-making results are stated as policies of the Government. Additionally, to protect the rights, qualifications, and advantages of the citizens vis-à-vis arbitrary actions of administrative officials and to ensure optimal, law-abiding, appropriate, effective, flexible, efficient, accountable, transparent, free-of-any-corruption, -discrimination and -prejudice practices in administrative structures, should be placed on top of the Government’s agenda.
 
3-36 Any decision-making or administrative actions that affect the rights, interests, and freedoms of the citizens must be based on public interest and within the law.
 
3-37 The Government is obligated to develop necessary policies and measures for the implementation of public rights foreseen in the Constitution.
 
3-38 The Government is obligated to provide for presentation of public services in an equal and fair way and in the shortest time possible, by public organizations and institutions.
 
3-39 In their relations with citizens, public officials must be accountable, polite, careful, honest, trustworthy, open, and accessible servants; and in replying to correspondence and conversations must strive to assist as much as possible within their qualifications, and to provide answers to the queries in a favorable and suitable way, and in writing upon request.
 
3-40 Administrative officials are obligated to meet the expectations they have created themselves. These expectations could be results of announcements, regulations, procedures, behaviors, and even promises they have made to the public, to the point where people have trusted and relied upon them and have organized their personal or business lives based on them. An administrative official cannot suddenly deviate from the procedures he created himself. Should he wish to change the procedures, he is obligated to make prior announcement of policies, allowing a “transition period” for the implementation of new procedures and policies.
 
3-41 Citizens have the right to criticize, monitor, and be informed of the performance of executive organizations within the law. The Government is obligated to institutionalize acceptance of criticism within executive organizations and to foresee informing and clarifying their performance for the public in their regulations and procedures.
 
Transparency and Competition
3-42 The Government is obligated to ensure healthy and lawful market competition among all individuals and economy actors in the society through regulating and approving competitive and anti-monopoly laws and regulations and full implementation of the existing laws.
 
3-43 The Government is obligated to make information about the economy transparently available to everyone. All economic decisions of the Government, including contracts and particularly auctions and tenders, must be carried out transparently and without any privileged access to information for specific individuals or groups, and should aim to create competition among all people.
 
3-44 The Government is obligated to put on top of its agenda stability in its economic decisions and to prevent frequent changes in the laws and regulations related to production; eliminate the complex processes facing investment and manufacturing; direct banking resources and provide the necessary liquidity for productive economic activities; expand regional relations and connections and active presence in global markets aiming to develop economic and trade relations; support renovation and outfitting of manufacturing units with modern technical knowhow aiming to increase productivity and competition; and direct oil revenues toward productive and stable investments in a planned way.
 
3-45 Identifying trade bottlenecks that disrupt the economy and effective planning for eliminating them; preventing indiscriminate imports of foreign goods and adopting correct measures and policies for imports and support for domestic production measures and policies; and serious confrontation with smuggling of goods and foreign currency are among the Government’s responsibilities and the rights of manufacturers and those active in the economy.
 
3-46 Every citizen has the right to have access to standard goods and services. The received goods or services must be free of defects, scraps, shortcomings, or conditions that would disrupt optimal utilization. All providers of goods and services are responsible for the health and safety of their offered goods and services in accordance with the rules and conditions set forth in the laws or their related contracts, or trade practices. False advertising and misrepresentation of information leading to deception of or mistakes by the consumers through mass communication, mass media, and advertising literature is prohibited.
 
3-47 The Government is obligated, within the framework of rules and regulations and using its maximum ability and capabilities, to provide security for investments and freedom of capital circulation.
 
3-48 The decision-making processes based upon which the regulator makes its decisions must be open at all levels and all citizens have the right to inform the regulating organization of their opinions throughout all decision-making stages. After decision-making and to observe the principle of transparency, citizens have the right to be informed of all decisions in writing through the publication of a public announcement. Citizens also have the right to be informed of a summary of the viewpoints presented during the decision-making process.
 
Citizens’ Right to Participate in Social Destiny
3-49 Citizens equally enjoy the right to determine their destiny and where legal conditions exist, can use this right freely and without discrimination to participate in the management of the country’s affairs directly or through representatives they have elected in free and legal elections with their votes.
 
3-50 The country’s public programs must be organized in such a way that in addition to his job-related activities, every citizen has sufficient opportunities and capabilities to actively participate in managing the country’s affairs.
 
3-51 Every citizen has the right to participate in the country’s very important economic, political, social, and cultural decisions according the law.
 
3-52 Citizens enjoy the right to membership and activities in parties, societies, political and professional associations, and legal organizations established by the people. Membership or lack thereof must not cause deprivation or restriction of citizenship rights or result in special privileges.
 
3-53 The Government is obligated to increase public awareness levels in all areas in order to encourage the citizens to participate in determining their social destiny.

 

 

Economic and Property Rights
3-54 The citizens’ property rights are respected. Any property owner is entitled to all types of occupancy and utilization of his own property. No individual or authority, other than in cases stipulated in the law, can deny the property rights of another individual, or to confiscate or seize his property. Restrictions on property rights, occupancy and utilization are only allowed according to law, and only after immediate and fair payments of damages.
 
3-55 Intellectual property and its related rights are subject to legal protections.
 
3-56 All citizens are equal in their access to opportunities, facilities, and public and government services. Privatization and granting government contracts and treaties must comply with all related laws and regulations and provide competition chances for access to opportunities and government facilities for all individuals and citizens.

 

Employment and Decent Work
3-57 All Iranian citizens have the right to seek and have employment in jobs they like, so long as the job is not against the law and does not violate other people’s rights.
 
3-58 The Government must take the necessary measures towards full employment and access to work tools for all those who are able to work but who lack the necessary tools, in compliance with the requirements governing the general economic planning of the country, such as the formation of cooperatives or through partnership with the private sector.
 
3-59 All citizens have the right to work, equal opportunities to employment, and free choice of their desired profession in accordance with legal standards, so as to be able to earn a fair and decent living. The Government is obligated to adopt necessary measures to ensure proper enforcement of this right.
 
3-60 Citizens enjoy equal pay for equal work. Wages and benefits of workers or employees must be fair and sufficient to provide a decent life for them. A disability that does not prevent work should not be the reason for denial of expected rights.
 
3-61 Every citizen is entitled to good compensation for his work, such that he does not need to work overtime in order to pay for normal living expenses.
 
3-62 Every citizen should be protected from any discrimination at work based on illegal and unjustified reasons.
 
3-63 Employed citizens must enjoy maximum legal protections against unjustified dismissal from work.
 
3-64 In order to reach fair working conditions, every citizen is entitled to take action to form associations and trade and professional unions with other citizens in compliance with the law.
 
3-65 Every citizen has the right to enjoy social security rights and maximum legal protections against work-related accidents.
 
3-66 Every citizen has the right to enjoy necessary work-related training.
 
3-67 Every citizen has the right to unemployment insurance benefits in case of involuntary unemployment.
 
3-68 Women have the right to have leave during pregnancy, child birth, and breast-feeding, and disabled citizens have the right to have jobs that are appropriate for their disabilities, and young citizens have the right to enjoy work conditions that are appropriate to their physical abilities, and are prohibited from having harsh and hazardous employment.
 
3-69 In cases of violations of labor laws and regulations, every citizen has the right to seek justice before independent and impartial judicial bodies.
 
Comfort, Welfare, Protection, and Social Security
3-70 The Government must plan appropriately and strengthen the private sector and non-governmental organizations through granting necessary assistance and facilities to lay the foundation for eliminating poverty and to provide suitable living conditions, especially suitable housing, as a right for the citizens.
 
3-71 Citizens have a right to have housing that suits their needs and those of their families’. It is the right of every Iranian individual and family to have housing that suits their needs. The Government is obligated to provide the grounds for the realization of this right, giving priority to those who are needier, especially village residents, workers, and office workers.
 
3-72 Having access to social security vis-a-vis social risks such as disability and retirement, unemployment, illness, and old age is the right of every Iranian. Through development and improvement of the comprehensive welfare and social security plan, aiming to strengthen and develop insurance funds, organize state protective agencies, and create suitable grounds for the activities of protective agencies, the Government is obligated to take steps to provide social security coverage to citizens.
 
3-73 Citizens have the right to benefit from social security as a public right in cases of illness, disability, retirement, unemployment, old age, incapacity, loss of custodian, abandonment, accidents, and calamities when they need welfare, medical treatment and care through insurance. Protecting patients and vulnerable groups and rehabilitating them and creating hope for life and happiness for them and providing for their basic needs, and implementing policies to protect, compensate, and provide for these groups while maintaining their honor and dignity are some of their rights. Comprehensive insurance coverage and benefitting from additional health services are some of the other rights of patients and vulnerable groups.
 
3-74 The Government is obligated to provide the necessary measures and legal bases for providing insurance coverage for families whose heads are uninsured.
 
3-75 In addition to providing sweeping social security insurance, the Government is obligated to facilitate the legal bases for the citizens’ access to elective insurance plans through development of commercial insurance in all fields and against insurable risks, and to provide the grounds for competition of insurance companies and to prohibit monopoly by government insurance.
 
3-76 Accessing insurance information is a public right. This information must include all types of insurance and related services, such that citizens are able to compare services provided by various insurance companies.
 
3-77 In all its decisions and actions, the Government must refrain from any decision or action that would exacerbate economic class gap and inequality, or that may cause discrimination and unfair deprivation of the citizens.
 
3-78 Citizens enjoy economic social, and cultural rights in conformity with the criteria of Islam and the law. The Government is obligated to identify any undue discrimination and differences that [compromise] the citizens’ rights under equal circumstances, and to resolve them through and according to the laws.
 
3-79 Any deprivation, restriction, or preference among the citizens in their access to public services, government services, health services, and education based on factors such as color, gender, language, religion [mazhab], faith [deen], etc. is prohibited.
 
3-80 The Government is obligated to adopt immediate operational measures to eliminate all forms of undue discrimination. Implementing programs and adopting special protective measures for groups that suffer from undue discrimination, if it does not lead to deprivation of other groups, is allowed. All citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law without discrimination.
 
3-81 All citizens are entitled to be offered public services equally, fairly, and in the shortest time possible, by public organizations and institutions.
 
3-82 Every citizen has the right to easy access to education and development, cultural centers such as libraries and art galleries, cinema and theater, parks, recreation and sports centers, emergency and health care centers, firefighting, and police services. Citizens should also have easy access to shopping centers where they can purchase essential supplies, and have access to fuel stations, and public urban and inter-urban transportation.
 
3-83 The Government is obligated to adopt necessary measures to empower individuals and groups, especially people with disabilities, in order to meet their needs. All regulations must be adopted in a cognizant way about the situation of the disabled, including their social life, employment conditions, livelihood, education and welfare.
 
3-84 All schedules for movement of fleets by roadway, railway, sea, and air transportation must be organized in such a way that passengers are delivered to their destinations without delay. If, for any reason, without the fault of the passengers, movement is delayed, the Government must use existing legal capacities, or act to provide the basis for approval of needed laws and regulations, to provide the passengers with reparation.
 
Judicial Justice
3-85 All citizens have the right to ask for justice and to this end can petition a competent court.
 
3-86 All citizens are entitled to have access to all courts and quasi-judicial authorities and regulatory bodies, and no one may be denied access to a court to which he has the right of recourse under the law.
 
3-87 All citizens have the right to defend themselves in courts and before administrative and police authorities and they have the right to freely choose a defense lawyer and to benefit from his services during all phases of the process. When citizens do not have the ability or means to take advantage of this right, the Government is obligated to provide the necessary facilities for the citizens to have a lawyer.
 
3-88 Everyone is presumed innocent and no one is considered a criminal, unless his crime is proven in a competent court.
 
3-89 Defamation and compromising the dignity of an individual who by order of the law has been arrested, detained, imprisoned, or exiled in any way, is prohibited and can be prosecuted.
 
3-90 Exercising one’s right cannot harm others or violate public interests.
 
3-91 The citizens’ dignity, life, property, rights, residence, and occupation is inviolable within the laws.
 
3-92 Any type of torture for extracting confessions or acquiring information is prohibited. Forcing an individual to testify, confess, or take an oath is not permitted and such testimony, confession, or oath lacks value and credibility.
 
3-93 The Government is obligated to provide the necessary legal groundwork to protect citizens who are victims of crimes and quasi-crimes.
 
Education and Training
3-94 It is the right of all Iranian citizens to enjoy free education and development through the end of their high school studies, and to enjoy the amenities and facilities of higher education.
3-95 Benefitting from education is among the rights of every citizen. The Government is obligated to provide all citizens suitable access to training and education in order to preserve human capital.
 
Family, Women, Children and the Elderly
3-96 The family is the fundamental and primary unit of society and all citizens have the right to marry and start a family. The Government is obligated to strengthen and solidify the foundation of the family.
 
3-97 Every citizen has the right to free and fully consensual marriage.
 
3-98 The Government is obligated to take all necessary measures to respect and uphold the rights of the elderly, including their access to social security resources needed for enjoying an independent and dignified life.
 
3-99 The Government is obligated to respect the rights of women in every aspect according to the law and in all forms, including in having access to appropriate grounds for character development and revitalization of material and intellectual rights, in protecting mothers, specifically during pregnancy and custody of children, protecting orphans, in appropriate judicial protection in competent courts with the aim of protecting and preserving the family, in providing special insurance to widows and elderly women and women without guardians, and in granting custody of children to competent mothers towards their best interest in the absence of legal guardians.
 
3-100 Women have the right to have access to social insurance, health and medical facilities specific to women, access to social welfare services, and physical and psychological rehabilitation of abused girls and women, within the laws and regulations. Where legal grounds for realization of this right do not exist, the Government is responsible to provide it through presenting appropriate bills.
 
3-101 Access to dedicated cultural centers, according to women’s psychological and physical characteristics with priority to disadvantaged areas; the right for the abused to have access to appropriate protections to improve their and the society’s cultural situation; the right for higher education to the highest academic levels without any discrimination or gender quotas, the right to gain the highest levels of skills and professional training both quantitatively and qualitatively; the right to participate in policy-making, decision-making, management, and active presence in cultural and academic associations nationally and internationally, are some of the women’s rights.
 
3-102 The Government is obligated to protect women who are heads of households, in the form of insurance and other social services according to laws and regulations.
3-103 Protecting orphaned or vulnerable children directly or through helping relevant non-governmental organizations, in order to maintain them, and creating the necessary facilities for this purpose is one of the Government’s plans.
 
3-104 Children must have access to social protection according to their specific needs, health services including healthy nutrition and water, favorable living environment both at home and at school, quality health and medical care, recreation, creative and entertaining activities, appropriate educational facilities, and specialized and competent educators. Children of working parents must have access to suitable conditions and facilities where they are easily maintained, cared for, and provided a normal childhood social life.
 
3-105 Children have the right to have access to age-appropriate information. A child’s exposure to information that could cause mental violence, fearfulness, and physical or mental apprehension is not permissible and is considered a violation of the child’s right to health.
 
3-106 It is a natural right for children to have competent parents and guardians. Parents and guardians of a child are obligated to carry out the guardianship and maintenance duties for the child, aiming to realize the child’s best interest and they are held accountable for any physical, psychological and mental violence and abuse, carelessness and negligence, abuse and failure to perform their legal and humane responsibilities related to the child.
 
3-107 Women must have access to all possibilities to enjoy the right to choose appropriate covering based on the Islamic-Iranian standards. The Government is obligated to provide the necessary measures to promote the proper covering.
 
3-108 Children and the youth must receive special protections. These individuals’ opinions must be noted in issues related to their lives, with consideration of their age and level of growth.
 
3-109 Children and the youth must have equal access to their parents’ abilities and capacities in issues related to the child, regardless of the parents’ marital status. In all cases, the interests of the children and the youth shall be paramount.
 
3-110 As the biggest and most celebrated national asset of the country, in addition to other citizenship rights, the youth also have access to the following;
1 – Complete participation in determining their political, economic, social, and cultural destiny, using legal mechanisms;
2 – Active participation in the national development process;
3 – Participation in promoting, supporting, and advancement of peace in Iran and in the world;
4 – Forming unions, trade associations, non-governmental organizations and political parties and free membership in them;
5 – Economic participation and intervening in the management of scientific, technical, economic, etc. areas;
6 – Social participation and efforts to realize inclusive social justice;
7 – Direct or indirect participation in the country’s general affairs.

 

Elites, Teachers, and Students
3-111 The Government is obligated to provide a setting to benefit teachers and the elites from the current knowledge, freedom of expression, research, and scientific development. Academics should be able to, without worries about earning a living and in a secure environment, follow the path of knowledge and scientific production and distribution.
 
3-112 No student should be humiliated or denied education due to lack of finances to pay tuition fees, and universities that are dependent on a system of tuition fees must grant adequate financial facilities to enable payment of tuition for students. The Government is required to spare no effort towards quantitative and qualitative upgrade of university facilities for the welfare of the students.
 
3-113 The country’s elites are respected and they must participate in the development of the country according to their abilities and they shall enjoy the privileges of their efforts for the advancement of the country. Strengthening the spirit of innovation and research, as well as helping the youth and scientific elites to shine in the global scientific arena and science-based approaches in development, identifying bright talents, and guidance and intellectual and material support, attracting and using the elites in promoting science and technology and balanced development of the country based on the ultimate goal of civilization-making universities are the rights of the elites and the academics, which must be identified and guaranteed by the Government.
 
3-114 The universities must be a safe place for all students, therefore the university authorities must do their utmost to promote physical and mental safety and security of the students in the universities.
 
Veterans, Disabled Veterans, and Martyrs’ Families
3-115 Individual and collective empowerment of veterans , disabled veterans and the esteemed families of martyrs for their effective presence in different cultural, social, and political arenas; effectively meeting their real needs in different material and spiritual dimensions while respecting their dignity, justice and a spirit of self-reliance; removal of impediments and facilitating their presence on different scenes and fields and institution-building; foreseeing the necessary mechanisms in the scientific and research fields to provide equipment, training, care, treatment and reducing personal and social damages caused by the war and threats and to protect the domain of self-sacrifice; veterans and their families and the esteemed families of martyrs, and preservation of historical remains, values, and epics through creating museums, monuments , symbols and signs of jihad , resistance, sacrifice and especially organizing and maintaining the martyrs cemeteries as cultural centers, should be considered by the Government as a public right for those citizens.
 
Minorities and Ethnic Groups
3-116 The Government is obligated to trust the citizenry’s cultural, religious [mazhabi], linguistic, and ethnic diversity.
 
3-117 Holding and attending religious [mazhabi] ceremonies of those religions [adiani] identified in the Constitution is permitted.
 
Village Residents and Nomads
3-118 Citizens who live in villages and nomads must have access to sufficient income, suitable quality of life based on maximum available amenities, the right to access water, the right to utilize farming land, the right to implement, use and be employed in manufacturing handicrafts and providing tourism services, the right to farm on a piece of land, and the right to improve, modernize, reconstruct, and make secure their villages.
3-119 The Government is obligated to make necessary provisions for nomads and village residents to play responsible roles and to use their capabilities and capacities in an optimal way.
 
Environment and Sustainable Development
3-120 The Government is obligated to protect, support, improve, and beautify the environment and to develop a suitable culture for it in all its programs, decisions, and development, economic, social, cultural, and military decisions for the country, and to confront any pollution and irreparable destruction of the environment by all individuals, public and private organizations, and to support activities of the private sectors and non-governmental organizations in this area.
 
3-121 Every citizen of the current and future generation has the right to access a healthy environment, clean and free of pollution, including the right to access healthy air and water.
 
3-122 Public policy, including on capacity building in the field of environment and education for citizens and officials must be considered in a way that sustainable development is promoted and that there is coordination among economic policies, social progress, and protection and improvement of the environment.
 
3-123 Civil rights activities in the field of environment are recognized and every natural or legal person, including environmental non-governmental organizations whose rights are ignored or violated, have the right of address and access to a competent court according to regulations.
 
3-124 Access to clean air is the right of every Iranian citizen. In areas of the country facing air pollution, the Government is obligated to collect information about air quality and the degree of pollution effects, and simultaneous with taking effective operational steps, to reduce the pollution and its effects. Side-by-side of people, operational organizations are obligated to adopt policies for controlling the air pollutants, especially in large cities.
 
3-125 Citizens have the right to enjoy the view of forests, seas, rivers, lagoons, and historical and religious [mazhabi] monuments.
 
3-126 Any construction and obstruction in the citizens’ right to enjoy the view in the vicinity of the seas, historical and religious [mazhabi] monuments, rivers, and public lands is not permissible. Using legal capacities, the Government is obligated to prevent construction of buildings that face historical and natural monuments, ruining the skyline and its historical and cultural view.
 
3-127 All policies related to development must take note of the possibility of wide-scale participation of citizens in the development process and the possibility of public access to effects of development.
 
3-128 Every citizen has the right to all-around intellectual and material development. This right is one of the best examples of citizenship rights and its realization is dependent on the fair access of individuals to all material and intellectual resources and facilities the society employs and includes suitable nutrition, education, health, housing, arts, communications, freedom, security and pre-requisites of continuing human life.
 
3-129 As a right for the citizens, the Government must guarantee equal access by all individuals, whether male or female, of advantages of development within a fair legal system with respect for local, ethnic, religious [mazhabi] and cultural considerations.
 
3-130 In order to achieve sustainable development, the Government is responsible for providing legislative, executive, and judicial policies necessary for all-around material and intellectual development of the country next to other rights of the citizens, including the right to equality, the right to a healthy environment, and the right to human dignity.
 
3-131 Citizens have the right to benefit from political, economic, cultural, military and similar development in their society and no one can limit the Iranian citizens’ rights to advancement and achievement of the highest levels of development.
 
3-132 The citizens have the right to enjoy the advantages and benefits of peaceful nuclear technology in the areas of modern technologies, energy, health, medical, medicine, nutrition, welfare, economy and trade.
 
Combating Narcotics
3-133 The Government is obligated to provide a setting for its citizens in which they would benefit from living in a drug-free environment, where it would not be possible to access narcotics. Also by providing this setting, the Government must take fundamental measures towards control and blockade of the borders, and act to expand international cooperation and utilization of diplomatic capabilities to protect the country from entry of narcotics. The Government must provide a setup for citizens who are harmed by narcotics to have access to proper drug treatment facilities, and rehabilitation and insurance resources including social support after treatment, employment, recreation, medical consultation services, and legal, social, and family support.
 
Iranian Nationality, Residency, and Iranians Abroad
3-134 Iranian citizens have the right to benefit from Iranian nationality and its effects, and the Government cannot withdraw citizenship from any Iranians or prevent them from their full rights, except where foreseen by law.
 
3-135 Every citizen has the right to have his identity information and details, such as information pertaining to themselves and their relatives, such as a spouse, children, father, and mother whose information is contained in their identification documents, be safeguarded by the relevant institutions. Disclosure of identifying information about individuals is forbidden and is only provided when necessary and by request from relevant judicial bodies and administrative agencies in a confidential manner. No official has the right to give to others or disclose any person’s identity without expressed legal permission.
 
3-136 At the time of birth, the infant’s parents have the right to choose their agreed upon name for their child freely and according to the regulations.
 
3-137 All Iranian citizens have the right to freely enter or leave Iran and no citizen can be deprived from entering or leaving the country, except in cases expressed by the law.
 
3-138 Every Iranian citizen anywhere in the world has the right to enjoy the Iranian government’s full legal and political support, and extradition of Iranian citizens to other countries is prohibited, except in legal cases.
 
3-139 All Iranian citizens have the right to stay and reside in any location they choose within the territory of Iran, so long as they do not cause harm to the rights of the public and other individuals’ rights.
 
3-140 Every Iranian individual, whether inside or outside the country, has the right to have Iranian identity documents.
 
3-141 No one can be exiled from his place of residence, or be prohibited to stay in his favorite location, or be forced to stay in other locations, except where specified in the law.
 
Third Chapter-Task Organization, Development and Supervision of Implementation of the Charter and Provisions of Citizenship Rights
 
Articles 4-15
Article 4 – The National Center for Citizenship Rights, which will be formed under the office of Vice President-Legal Affairs, is required to bring to fruition in the laws and regulations the instances of the citizens’ rights as outlined in this Charter, and propose necessary suggestions for reform of laws and regulations related to the realization of the citizens’ rights, and in accordance with legal procedures propose them to the Cabinet of Ministers and to other relevant authorities for decision making.

Note: The offices of Vice President-Legal Affairs is required to prepare and submit the bill for the formation of “The Citizenship Rights Organization” and “The Supreme Council of Citizenship Rights” as the highest element of the organization, to the Cabinet of Ministers.
 
Article 5 – In case of infringement of the laws, regulations, and provisions of this Act, in addition to efforts being made to reform the methods and coordinating them with the regulations, the National Center for Civil Rights is required to report the violators to competent authorities using the Government’s and the Executive Branch’s full legal capacities, and, through the office of Vice President-Legal Affairs, report the results of the actions to the President.
 
Article 6 – During the review of all proposed bills and drafts discussed in governmental committees or in the Cabinet, and decisions made by Members of the Parliament who are pursuing the subjects of Articles 127 and 138 of the Constitution, and other decision making bodies of the Executive Branch, the office of Vice President-Legal Affairs is required to scrutinize observance of the Citizenship Rights Charter, and in case of finding violations or ambiguities about its implementation, or disagreements about its interpretation, report the findings to the aforementioned commission or to the Cabinet, or to the highest relevant authority. In case of disagreement between relevant authorities in the Executive Branch, considering the priority of civil rights considerations over other considerations, the views of the Vice President-Legal Affairs shall prevail.
 
Article 7 – Supervision over observance of the Citizenship Rights will occur on three levels: individual, public and general, and governmental. On the first level, by creating awareness and sensitivity in the civil society and the nation and citizens; on the second level, through the civil and trade organizations; and on the third level it is done by the National Center for Citizenship Rights with cooperation from regulatory bodies and other branches.
 
Article 8 – The Vice President-Legal Affairs is obligated to prepare the necessary procedures for making requisite provisions by the committees responsible for reviewing administrative violations and trade and professional organizations for expedient and effective review of cases of violation or negligence in citizenship rights by individuals under its coverage, and if necessary, to identify the existing shortcomings in the laws and regulations in the area of observation of citizenship rights and to take action for resolving them through legal means.
 
Article 9 – Through coordination and cooperation from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, as well as Ministry of Education and Development, and with the help of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Broadcasting Organization, the Vice President-Legal Affairs is obligated to prepare necessary proposals regarding “the operational mechanisms for preparing packages for citizenship rights public awareness, institutionalizing, and respecting citizenship rights and public education of the citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” and to present them to the Cabinet.
 
Article 10 – Within six months from the time of approval of this Charter, the Vice President-Legal Affairs is obligated to prepare and distribute the quantitative and qualitative indices for the evaluation of improvements in the conditions and implementation of the citizenship rights which is the subject of this resolution and the other laws and regulations with the cooperation of all ministries and relevant operational organizations and non-governmental organizations active in the area of citizenship rights. Subsequently, based on these indices, necessary reports will be prepared at specific time intervals and will be sent to the President.
 
Article 11 – The Vice President-Legal Affairs is obligated to continuously review the strategies for improvement and promotion of citizenship rights and identification of the existing shortcomings, through formation of specialized committees in different areas of citizenship rights, and to inform the Cabinet through presenting resolutions or bills while observing other laws and regulations.
 
Article 12 – The responsibility for proper implementation of this resolution remains with the office of Vice President-Legal Affairs and all executive units, institutions, organizations, and public non-governmental organizations, and organizations under the oversight of the President and centers affiliated with the President’s Office are obligated to cooperate with this Vice President’s office.
 
Article 12 [repeated] – All organizations and ministries are obligated to prepare a “Citizenship Rights Attachment” for all their plans and proposed programs, according to procedures that will be developed and distributed by the Vice President-Legal Affairs Office.
Article 13 – The Ministerial Cabinet’s authorities, the subject of Article 138 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran about the approval of the necessary regulations for execution of this Charter and also for regulating bills and the necessary suggestions for legal procedures to a commission called the Commission of Citizens’ Rights, comprised of Ministers of Justice; Culture and Islamic Guidance; Science, Research and Technology; Health and Medical Education; Education; Intelligence; and Interior, is hereby delegated. The issues of the commission shall be decided by the majority vote and shall be notified in compliance with Article 19 of the Internal Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Note – The office of Vice President- Legal Affairs will be a member and secretary of this Commission.
 
Article 14 – The Legal Vice President is appointed as the special representative on the matter of Article 127 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran for implementation of the presidential and ministerial authorities in the executive affairs related to declaration, identification, pursuit, and execution of the content of this resolution.
 
Article 15 – The office of Vice President-Legal Affairs is obligated to report on measures taken to implement this resolution to the President every three months.
 
 

 

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