Administrative Division of Iran
Iran (Persia) is located in Middle East with 31 Ostan (Provinces) and neighbors Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iraq.
Iran has an area of 1,648,195 km2 situated in southwest Asia and in the Middle East. Iran has a common border with the countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkmenistan in the north, with the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east, and with the countries of Turkey and Iraq in the west.
Caspian Sea from the north, and Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea from the south surround the country, and therefore, the country is rich in fossil fuels. It is also one of the major areas of oil and natural gas extraction in the world.
Iran is divided into four levels in terms of country divisions: Ostan (Province), Shahrestan (County), Bakhsh (District) and Dehestan (Rural District). The province is the largest national division of Iran, and it consists of 31 provinces, each governed by a governorate. Each county also has several sections and is run under the umbrella of the governorate; Iran has 429 counties. The third level in the division of the country is a district that deals with the affairs of the sectors; there are 1057 sections or districts in Iran. The rural district is the smallest country in Iran, which is made up of several close villages. 2,589 rural district have been registered in Iran.
It should be noted that in the divisions of Iran, the city and the village are not mentioned. Some cities with large areas and large cities are considered as metropolitan cities and are run by municipalities. Iran currently has 1245 cities.
Governmental System in Iran
Iran before and after the advent of Islam, was ruled by monarchy. All political, social and economic issues were under supervision of the king. The masses thought the king had the divine mystical force; after Islam it just change its name and was recreated in the title of the shadow of the God on earth. People followed the king under each circumstance and had no place in governmental decisions, until in Qajar dynasty a group of scholars were sent to Europe to study. Under the influence of the European system of thought, they began rising masses awareness toward international issues. After the death of Naser al – Din Shah, the king’s divine mystical force was broken. The outcome of the efforts of these scholars and some clergies began showing itself, and people demanded participation in the country’s affairs. In 1911, a great revolution titled “The Constitutional Revolution” took place in Iran that decreased the power of the monarch and gave power to the representatives of people. The revolution led to the establishment of a parliament in Iran. However, the Constitutional Revolution was not successful, because in a country that had deep religious beliefs, the revolution attempted to separate the religion from politics. At the end, in 1978, with Islamic Revolution and establishment of a Republic in Iran, a constitutional law was written.
In 1911, a great revolution titled “The Constitutional Revolution” took place in Iran that decreased the power of the monarch and gave power to the representatives of people.
The Supreme Leader of Iran is the head of state and highest-ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran (above the President). The armed forces, judicial system, state television, the Expediency Discernment Council and other key governmental organizations are under the control of the Supreme Leader. The President is the second most influent person in the country. Candidate of presidency following the approval of Guardian Council are selected with the vote of people for a four years period. President can be reappointed for more four years if he is selected again. Cabinet member are nominated directly by president but their selection must be approved by the parliament. President is also in charge of National Security Council and carrying out constitution law. The President of Iran does not have full control over anything, as these are ultimately under the control of the Supreme Leader.
The Supreme Leader of Iran is the head of state and highest-ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran (even above the President).
Legislature system of Iran consists of two components, a unicameral parliamentary chamber called Islamic Consultative Assembly and a reviewing power, the Guardian Council of the Constitution. The Parliament generally has no legal status without the simultaneous existence of the Council. Therefore, existence of the Council is a precondition for the efficiency of the legislative power, as all bills passed by the Parliament have to be submitted to the Council in order to enact. Its members are selected every four year by direct vote of people.
Judicial system is in charge of supporting individual and social rights of citizens and observing the establishing of rules, looking into grievances, punishing different crimes, bringing justice and legitimate freedoms. Expediency Discernment Council is one of the bodies in Islamic Republic of Iran that has been established since 1988.