IRANIAN POLITICS GUIDE
Iranian System of Government: Theocratic Oligarchy
Iranian politics take place in a framework of theocracy guided by an Islamist ideology. The December 1979 constitution, and its 1989 amendment, define the political, economic, and social order of the Islamic Republic of Iran, declaring that Shi'a Islam of the Twelver school of thought is Iran's official religion.
Iran has an elected President, Parliament (or Majlis), and an Assembly of Experts (which elects the Supreme Leader of Iran), as well as local councils. All of these must be selected by the 12 members of the Guardian Council (six experts in Islamic Law selected by the Supreme Leader and six other jurists elected by the Majlis after nomination by a Judicial Head who is in turn appointed by the Supreme Leader after nomination by the President) before being elected. (Yes, the country is ruled by an oligarchy whose members elect each other.) In addition Iran has shadow or parallel institutions intended to oversee the elected officials and "protect the state's Islamic character." The majority of Iran's political parties are banned (only Islamist parties can legally operate inside the Islamic regime, and, as of 2011, only conservative parties at that).
The Iranian regime placed two prominent opposition leaders under house arrest in February 2011, presumably to help head off Arab Spring
uprisings within the country, and many party websites with the Iranian country domain extension ".ir" had been shut down as of April 2011.
Sources: The Guardian, wikipedia.org