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President of Iran

The Presidential Complex, Zafaraniyeh, Tehran.
Mohammad Khatami, Iran's president, 1997–2005.
Since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, Iran has been a republic. However, unlike most republics, Iran's head of state is not the president, but rather the Supreme Leader, who is a religious figure selected by an Assembly of Experts.

Iran still has a president, however, and since the change in the constitution and the removal of the post of Prime Minister and merging most of the prime ministership duties with the President's, this once figurehead post has become a position of significant government influence.

The President of Iran is elected in a national election by universal adult suffrage. There remain some restrictions on the selection of candidates for the election — only those individuals approved by the Council of Guardians who are directly or indirectly selected by the Supreme Leader are permitted to run. The approval process is considered to be a check on the requirements of the constitution, and usually amounts to a very small minority of candidates being approved. In the 1997 election, for example, only four out of 238 presidential candidates were approved by the council. No woman has ever been approved.

According to the Iranian constitution, When the President dies or is impeached, a special provisional Presidential Council temporarily rules in his place until an election can be held.

The President automatically becomes the Head of Council of Cultural Revolution and the Head of Council of National Security.

Iran's Presidents

Most of Iran's presidents have left office in somewhat of a chaotic fashion, and the transition from one to another has not always been smooth.

See also: Politics of Iran, Prime Ministers of Iran

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