Iranian MPs sign a letter to Khamenei appealing for constitution review

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Iranian MP Ezatollah Yousefian-Mullah has announced that he and a number of other MPs have prepared a letter addressed to the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The letter requests a review of the constitution and includes a proposal to form a parliamentary body called “The Great Assembly.”

“If the number of signatures on this letter exceeds 200, we will send it to the Supreme Leader,” said Yousefian-Mullah, to ILNA news agency. He claimed the letter is “without any political orientation.”

Yousefian-Mullah, who is a member of an independent conservative faction in parliament, said that the letter has 150 signatures so far.

According to the constitution of Iran, only the Supreme Leader can order a revision of the constitution.

President Hassan Rouhani recently called for “increased presidential powers.” Remarking on this, Yousefian-Mullah said, “If someone wants more power than is defined for them in the constitution, they will have to amend the constitution.”

Almost all previous presidents have been dissatisfied with the lack of authority in their position. But none “talked about this subject this openly and clearly,” said Yousefian-Mullah.

Former presidents Mohammad Khatami and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also expressed their dissatisfaction with their lack of authority during their presidencies.

According to Yousefian-Mullah, one of the requests in the letter is “to consider restoring the position of Prime Minister based on the current situation.” Another item in the letter, according to him, is the need to form a “Great Assembly.” This is meant to be the same as the Senate of Iran, but the MP does not consider the name “Senate” as “desirable” and has suggested “The Great Assembly” instead.

Ali Larijani, the head of the Iranian parliament, was the first to bring up the subject of the revision of the constitution earlier this year. Larijani said in February that the Supreme Leader has ordered “structural reforms” in the country.

The Supreme Leader also said several years ago that there is a possibility of changing Iran’s political system from presidential to parliamentary.

If the constitution is reviewed, it would be the second time this has happened in the history of the Islamic Republic. The first time was in 1989, where some positions such as Prime Minister were removed and the authority of the Supreme Leader was further increased.