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Source: Iranintl

Nov 25, 2023

Iranian Lawyer Opposes Idea Of 'Absolute Obedience' To Khamenei

By Iran International Newsroom

A prominent Iranian lawyer has argued that the dominating role of the hardliner Paydari Party is likely to hinder the legislative system and the Constitution.

In a recent commentary, Iranian lawyer Kambiz Nowrouzi referred to a statement made by hardline cleric Morteza Aqa-Tehrani, the chairman of the central council of Paydari Party. Aqa-Tehrani recently quoted the party's founding father, Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi as having called for the nation's absolute obedience to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Aqa-Tehrani had quoted Mesbah as saying, "The absolute rule of the jurisconsult (Velayat-e Faqih) is not enough as the theory of government under the Islamic Republic. The system also needs absolute obedience of the people to the supreme leader."

The statement effectively renders the legislative system in Iran meaningless. According to the ultraconservative party, Khamenei can make any decision, and the people will have no choice other than obeying what he decrees.

Practically, during the past decade, Khamenei has been running the country in the same way, without elaborating on the underlying principle of the system. He effectively made the parliament obsolete by handing over key decisions on issues such as the annual budget to the heads of the legislative, executive and judiciary powers.

Iranian attorney Kambiz Nowruzi

In 2019, when a fuel price rise led to a nationwide uprising, the parliament said that it was not consulted, and Khamenei had handed over decision-making on the matter to the heads of the three powers of the government.

However, at least one of the trio, former President Hassan Rouhani said he was not involved in the price rise decision either and that he learned about it like everyone else, in the morning after the decision was implemented.

The idea of absolute obedience is based on another verdict by late Ayatollah Mesbah, a Muslim fundamentalist, which maintains that the Supreme Leader, currently Khamenei, is not elected by the people. He is appointed by God almighty!

Elsewhere, Mesbah said, "If there have been elections in Iran so far, that is because that is because the leader has so decided. However, the leader can announce another form of government that does not need people's input." He added that "The people's vote has no impact on the legitimacy of the government." He even said: "Who are the people to decide on the affairs of the state?" Nonetheless, his followers later tried in vain to interpret his words differently.

In his commentary, Nowrouzi pointed out that the Iranian Constitutional Law has stressed on the importance of the people's vote in several instances, including in Article 56 which stipulates that "The absolute ruler of the world and man is God, however, God has decided that man should be in charge of determining his own fate." The article adds that "No one can deprive man of this divine right or take advantage of that right in the interest of a certain group or individual."

Nowruzi further pointed out that "This article makes man unconditionally in charge of determining his own fate," adding that "This article is the foundation of national sovereignty.”

The lawyer also pointed out that Article 6 of the Iranian Constitution also says very clearly that "In the Islamic Republic the affairs of the state should be run based on public votes by electing the President, members of the parliament, members of city councils and so on, or based on referendum in other cases."

He further pointed out that this means the people are free to run the affairs of the state based on their free will and votes, and this is in sharp contrast to the idea of absolute obedience. The lawyer also claimed that both Khamenei and his predecessor Ruhollah Khomeini publicly opposed the idea of absolute obedience to the leader.

Nowruzi argued that the Islamic Republic is based on the two pillars of Islamism and Republicanism. If you do away with one of the two pillars, the system will collapse.

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