Iran Local Government Primer


The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that local councils must be an essential part of decision making and local administration in the country. In 1999 the first council elections were held under President Seyed Mohammad Khatami, and every four years around 200,000 members are elected to the city, village, province, and district councils across Iran.

Local government is often the place where citizens are best able to interact with officials and where decision making often has more direct impact on people’s everyday lives. According to law, the general public and the media are free to attend council meetings, and council members must be available to meet and interact with citizens and hear their problems and issues. Public transportation, garbage collection, street conditions, green space; these are the quality of life issues that municipal residents feel every day. Having an empowered citizenry that can hold government accountable to these quality of life issues requires having an informed citizenry that knows the “rules of the game.” With such information, citizens can test how well their government is meeting the minimum standards and requirements for operating and representing constituent interests.

This 12-page document catalogs and explains some of the prerogatives and regulations affecting local government in Iran based on an analysis of the legal framework. Armed with the knowledge of details like this, citizens can demand that governments fulfill those basic responsibilities that uphold the law and open avenues to more responsive governance.


  • Municipalities
    • Municipal Government Responsibilities
    • Municipal Budgets
    • Financial Responsibility
  • City, Village, Province and District Councils
    • Council Elections
    • Council Structure
    • Council Membership
    • Council Responsibilities
    • Village and City-Specific Responsibilities
    • Public Access and Transparency
  • Citizen Participation on Councils
    • Council Assistant Responsibilities
  • Charts
    • Structure of Central and Local Government Across Iran
    • Education Requirements for Council Members
    • City Council Commissions and Committees
    • Number of Council Members According to Population


PDF icon iran_government_primer_en.pdf1.06 MB