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President of Iran

Since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, Iran has been a republic. However, unlike most republics, Iran's head of state is not the president, but rather the Supreme Leader, who is a religous figure chosen by a council of Islamic clerics.

Iran still has a president, however and in recent years this once figurehead post has become a position of significant government influence, especially since the election of reformist president Mohammad Khatami in 1997.

The President of Iran was once appointed directly by the Supreme Leader and the council of clerics, but is now elected in a national election. There remain some obstacles to the election being truly democratic however. Only candidates and parties approved by the council are permitted to run.

When the President dies or is impeached a special provisional Presidential Council temporarily rules in his place until an election can be held.

Iran's Presidents



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