Expediency Discernment Council
On 18 March 1997, Supreme Leader Aayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei issued a decree concerning the duties of the members of the Expediency Discernment Council of the System (EDCS). The decree stated the following:
"In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
"The Expediency Discernment Council which was formed upon the initiative of the late Imam Khomeini (peace be upon him) and later included as an article in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic thanks to the wisdom and foresight of those revising the Law, is one of the best legal organs established in the Islamic Republic ever since its inception. This is a lasting and blessed institution which was created by the great Leader of the Islamic Republic thanks to his keen sagacity and broader scope of things at a time that the country needed such a Council and with its invention the supreme administrative system of the country was complemented.
"According to the Constitution, this Council acts as the trusted advisor of the Leader in shaping the general policies of the System and solving major disputes and differences which occur among the executive, judiciary and legislative powers. Moreover, when the Islamic Consultative Assembly and the Council of Guardians differ on a bill, the Expediency Council steps forward and solves their difference. Therefore, with an eye to the duties and responsibilities of the Expediency Discernment Council prescribed in the Constitution, this Council acts as the highest advisor of the Leader in the Islamic Republic System.
"In the past years, the Expediency Discernment Council has rendered valuable services to the nation when there have been differences between the Majlis and the Council of Guardians regarding the Majlis approvals, and has issued appropriate verdicts concerning numerous cases that I have referred to them.
"Now that with the widespread participation of the nation in all the political, social and economic arenas and with the endeavors of the officials and administrators of the executive, judiciary and legislative powers, the sacred Islamic Republic System has been firmly established and has found a commendable dignity, it is appropriate for the Expediency Discernment Council to fully discharge its duties and responsibilities and act as a senior advisor to the Leadership. For this reason besides the present members, it would be appropriate to appoint other senior politicians and clerics to enable the Council to discharge its important task in shaping the general policies of the System and to examine all important problems that are normally faced by the country.
"Therefore, the new makeup of the Expediency Discernment Council of the System is declared as follows:
- 1. The legal personalities are:
- a. The esteemed heads of the three powers.
- b. The prominent jurisconsults of the Council of Guardians.
- c. The minister concerned depending on the subject under discussion
- 2. The real personalities are: Messrs. Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mahdavi Kani , Amini Najafabadi, Vaez Tabasi, Ahmad Jannati, Mohammad Emami Kashani, Hassan Habibi, Mir Hussein Mousavi, Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, Mohammad Rey Shahri, Haj Sheikh Hassan Sanei, Hassan Rowhani, Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha, Habibollah Asqar Owladi, Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi, Ali Larijani, Mostafa Mirsalim, Mohammad Reza Tavassoli Mahallati, Abdollah Nouri, Morteza Nabavi, Dr. Hassan Firouzabadi, Gholamreza Aqazadeh, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Mohammad Hashemi, and Mohsen Nourbakhsh.
"All these members have been appointed for a five year period and the head of the Council will be Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani.
"The Expediency Discernment Council should have an active and significant secretariat to prepare the cases that are to be discussed in the sessions and to make necessary arrangements. Its head should be from among the members of the council and its liaison officer to be appointed by me, whenever necessary.
"The Council is duty bound to draw up, in its early sessions some comprehensive regulations pertaining to the manner of formation of sessions, putting forward and approval of subject matters, as well as other details, and then send the same to me for my approval.
"For this eminent institution to be able to discharge its important duties particularly in the matter of general policy making of the country, it should benefit from the latest expertise of the governmental responsible agencies and at the same time must avoid setting up parallel expert groups.
"I pray to God the Almighty for the success of these gentlemen in fulfilling their important duties."
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