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First female eyes nomination for Iran’s clerical body

First female eyes nomination for Iran’s clerical body

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Date: 17 December 2015 17:52

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 17

By Khalid Kazimov – Trend:

For the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran a female is seeking nomination as a candidate in the election for the Assembly of Experts.

Esmat Savadi, who holds a PhD degree in jurisprudence and principles of law and is a fellow at Iran’s Azad University, has put forward her nomination for the election of the Assembly of Experts, Tasnim news agency reported Dec. 17.

However she needs to be vetted by Iranian watchdog body of the Guardian Council. Since the Islamic Republic was founded in 1979 in Iran the assembly of experts has never seen a female or non-cleric member.

According to Iranian constitution those who wish to stand as candidates at the election of the assembly of Experts must be educated in Islam and capable of understanding Feqh (religious jurisprudence). So far all those who elected as members of the assembly had studied at religious seminaries not universities.

Electoral candidates must possess the following conditions:


A. A reputation for religious belief, reliability, and moral behavior.


B. The ability to interpret Islamic law (Ejtehad) to the extent that they
can understand certain issues in Islamic jurisprudence (Feqh), and can
determine whether the Supreme Leader meets the conditions of leadership.


C. A political and social understanding, and familiarity with the issues of
the day.


D. Belief in the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


E. Not having an anti-political and anti-social background.

Clause 1: The source of determination of whether candidates possess the above qualities are the jurists (foqaha) of the Guardian Council.


Clause 2: Individuals whose interpretations of Islam (Ejtehad) have been explicitly or implicitly validated by the Supreme Leader have no need for confirmation of their knowledge by the jurists of the Guardian Council.


Clause 3: Residence, birth, or nativity in the electoral district is not a necessity for the voters or candidates.

The Assembly of Experts is comprised of 86 Islamic scholars (Mujtahids) who are elected by the public to eight-year terms. The Assembly of Experts is an influential body in charge of supervising the supreme leader and organizations under his direct control as well as electing a successor for him.

On Dec. 17, Iran started the nominee registration process for the upcoming election of the Assembly of Experts to be held in late February.

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