The Constitution stipulates that the president is "the holder
of the highest official power next to the office of faqih."
In effect, the president is the head of state of the Islamic Republic.
Articles 113 to 132 of the Constitution pertain to the qualifications,
powers, and responsibilities of the president. The president is
elected for a four- year term on the basis of an absolute majority
vote of the national electorate and may be reelected for one additional
term. The president must be a Shia Muslim and a man "of political
and religious distinction." He is empowered to choose the prime
minister, approve the nominations of ministers, sign laws into
force, and veto decrees issued by the Council of Ministers, or
Elected in January 1980, Abolhasan Bani Sadr was Iran's first
president under the Constitution of 1979. His tenure of office
was marked by intense rivalry with the IRP-dominated Majlis. Within
one year of his election, relations between the president and
his opponents in the Majlis had deteriorated so severely that
the Majlis initiated impeachment proceedings against Bani Sadr.
In June 1981, a majority of Majlis deputies voted that Bani Sadr
had been negligent in his duties and requested that Khomeini dismiss
him from office as specified under the Constitution.
Iran's second president, Mohammad Ali Rajai, was elected in July
1981 but served only a brief term before being assassinated in
a bombing at the prime minister's office on August 30, 1981. The
third president, Hojjatoleslam Ali Khamenehi, was elected in October
1981 and re- elected to a second term in 1985. During his tenure,
relations between the presidency and the Majlis have been relatively
cooperative. Not only was Khamenehi an important religious figure
but he also was secretary general of the IRP until its dissolution
Data as of December 1987