Building the Islamic State: The Draft Constitution of 1979 Reconsidered

By Siavush Randjbar-Daemi

In late June 1979, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of Iran (PRG) published the draft text of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic.
Commonly known as the pish nevis-e qānun-e asāsi, or pish nevis in brief, the draft text was the product of a laborious collective endeavor by a select group of legal experts who were entrusted with the task of devising the new constitution in late 1978 by Ayatollah Khomeini in Paris and Mehdi Bazargan, the opposition leader who was to become the prime minister of the PRG, in Tehran. It was also the first full constitutional charter to be published by a state authority in Iran since the one which emerged at the end of the first phase of the Constitutional Revolution of 1906–11. […]

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