This volume continues a new series entitled "How They're Governed". Directed by Carlo Fusaro, the series aims to explore the political and institutional culture of different countries in order to understand how they're governed and organised. The entries are written by experts in comparative constitutional law and adopt an interdisciplinary approach. The series is intended for: students and scholars eager to develop their knowledge about a specific country; people who for professional reasons have relationships with foreign countries and need to be familiar with their institutional arrangements; curious travellers; anyone concerned about democracy and its future. Each volume shares the same basic structure: a concise geographical and economic overview; elements of history, especially as regards the development of the constitution; political context since the end of World War II; power distribution (who does what and who decides); acknowledged rights and freedoms and the corresponding safeguards; essential readings and useful websites.
This text describes the main characteristics of the legal system of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its constitutional history, highlighting its specific features with respect to arrangements in other Islamic countries. The form of government, the form of the state, and the relationship between power and citizenry after the 1979 revolution are examined, and special emphasis is placed on significant aspects, such as the marginal role played by the President of the Republic (who nonetheless garners the attention of Western mass media) vis--vis the Supreme Guide and the Council of Guardians. Attention is also devoted to the international relations, the nuclear power issue, and Iranian societys prospects for growth in the light of its wealth and diversity of intellectual thought and youthful energy.
Pier Luigi Petrillo teaches Public Law at the University of Siena, is a fellow of the International Society for Iranian Studies, and has visited the University of Teheran several times.