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Iran: President Returns a Law Passed by the House as Unconstitutional

(Feb. 2, 2008) Dr. Haddad A'adel, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (House of Representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran), made the following statement at a recent meeting of the Assembly: "Dr. Ahmadi Nijad has, in recent months and weeks, expressed his dissatisfaction over certain House enactments, inter alia, a law passed regarding the councils and a law passed regarding the office hours of the banks. He believes these matters fall within the exclusive functions of the Executive Power." The Speaker then said that the President sent a letter in December 2007 in which he referred to the passage of the law on the Fourth Development Plan as well as the State Budget for the current year, allocating additional funds for gas distribution to rural areas, and expressed his government's opposition to the law as being unconstitutional and in contravention of article 75 of the Constitution.

Article 75 of the Constitution states:

  • No bill, motion, or amendment may be presented to the House by a representative in the course of passage of a law which provides for a reduction of the public income or an increase of the public expenditures unless it clearly defines how to compensate for the income reduction or additional expenses.

The House Speaker then stated that he decided to refer the matter to the Supreme Leader, who issued the following response: "[a]ll the laws passed in accordance with the constitutional procedure must be enforced by all the State Powers." The Speaker of the Assembly then added that he ordered the above law to be published in the OFFICIAL GAZETTE. (Ettela'at, TEHRAN DAILY [in Farsi], No. 3227, Jan. 22, 2008, at 3.)