Majlis of Iran

From Academic Kids

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مجلس شورای اسلامی -
The Majles; Iran's Parliament.

The Majlis (مجلس), which means "The parliament", was the lower house of the Iranian Legislature from 1906 to 1979. After the Islamic Revolution, when the Iranian Legislature became unicameral, the Majlis became the main legislative body. Majlis currently has 290 representatives, changed from the previous 270 seats since the February 18, 2000 election.

It was first created by a clause in the 1906 Iranian Constitution and soon gained power under the rule of the Pahlavi dynasty. Noteworthy bills passed by the Majlis under the Pahlavis include the Oil Nationalization Bill (March 15, 1951) and the Family Protection Law (1967), which gave women many basic rights such as custody of children in case of divorce. After the Iranian Revolution, the upper house (Senate) was dissolved and the lower level National Counsultative Assembly (مجلس شورای ملی) became the Islamic Counsultative Assembly (مجلس شورای اسلامی). Even though the Majlis has been known to voice opposition to both the Pahlavis and Islamic Republic policies, its power is not as great as that of the legislative bodies in the United States.

Women were not allowed to vote or be elected to the Majlis until 1963. This reform was opposed by some Islamic clerics, including Ayatollah Khomeini, who claimed that it was a plot to bring women to the public society, and out of the protection of the traditional family. The events led to a revolt on June 5, 1963 and the exile of Khomeini to Iraq. The twenty-first National Consultative Assembly, which included female representatives, opened on October 6, 1963.

Convention place

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مجلس شورای اسلامی - The Iranian Parliament, first built in 1906.

From 1979, the Islamic Consultative Assembly had convened at the building that used to house the Iranian Senate, which is on Imam Khomeini Boulevard in central Tehran. A new building was built for the Assmebly near Baharestan Square in central Tehran, near the old Majlis building that was used from 1906 to 1979. The move was considered and approved on October 9, 2001. Some Majlis representatives of the time voted against moving there, protesting the very high expenses. But the move didn't happen during the sixth Islamic Assembly, because of technical problems, include some related to the audio system.

The move was reconsidered by the representatives in the seventh Islamic Assembly, in a private session on November 2, 2004, with the majority fraction divided over the issue and Emad Afrough, a conservative representative, calling the new building "the Green Palace of Mu'awiyah" (hinting that it's too luxurious). But the move was finally approved with a good majority. The first session in new building was held on November 16, 2004.

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