United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee (HRC), Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant : International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights : 3rd periodic reports of States parties : Iran, 31 May 2010, CCPR/C/IRN/3

I didn’t read everything on this document and I scanned it very quickly for things that grabbed my attention so I recommend reading it closely for more information. The area that I want to bring to everyone’s attention is this “233. The Civil Code of Iran in paragraph 6 of Article 976 states that every woman of foreign nationality who marries an Iranian husband is regarded as Iranian citizen. Therefore, the choice of the woman has no bearing on this matter.” Click here or on the pdf file to read the full report or an excerpt below.


Change of citizenship as the result of marriage

232. Majority countries of the world have accepted that for the sake of preserving the unity of the family, wife and husband should have one nationality. Therefore, if a woman and a man who want to be married have two different nationalities, usually the nationality of the husband is imposed on wife. Otherwise, the wife would be deprived of the advantages and rights enjoyed by the husband because of his citizenship rights and face many problems. There have been much debate on this subject and there are those who argue that today’s women are equal to men in all rights. But we all know that citizenship is a political matter, and not a legal matter relating to private law, thus the governments are free to decide as they choose.

233. The Civil Code of Iran in paragraph 6 of Article 976 states that every woman of foreign nationality who marries an Iranian husband is regarded as Iranian citizen. Therefore, the choice of the woman has no bearing on this matter. If the government of the woman’s nationality continues to regard her as its citizen after the divorce, then the woman would have citizenship.

234. It can be deduced form paragraph 6 of article 976 that the marriage should have taken place legally. That means that the marriage should have been registered in accordance with article 9033 of the Civil Code by an Iranian Consulate office.1

235. A woman who acquires Iranian citizenship as a result of marriage with an Iranian man is regarded an Iranian citizen as long as she maintains the marital relationship, and needless to say there are no limitations in respect of ownership of immovable property.

236. In case of divorce or death of the husband, the woman (wife) continues to possess her Iranian nationality, but has the right to revert to her former nationality by giving a notice to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and presenting the certificate of divorce or death of her husband.2 If the dissolution of marriage is as a result of the death of the husband, according to article 986 of the Civil Code of Iran and the widow who has children from her former husband cannot take advantage of this right so long as her children have not attained the full age of 18 and according to article 1171 of the Civil Code, the mother retains the custody of the child. If that was not the case, when the woman reverts to her former nationality, it is possible that she would take the minor child out of Iran or leave the child without any guardian in Iran. In both situations, the best interest of the child and Iranian society would be at risk.

Change of nationality of the wife of a person who has acquired Iranian nationality

237. In most countries of the world that believe in single nationality, when a man acquires the citizenship of that country, his wife also becomes the citizen of that country. For example, in the Civil Code of Iran, article 984 states: The wife and minor children of those who obtain Iranian nationality in accordance with this Act will be recognized as Iranian nationals but the wife can submit, within one year of the date of issue of nationality papers to her husband, and the minor children can submit, within one year after reaching the full age of 18, a written declaration to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accepting the former nationality of her husband or the father as the case may be.

238. Therefore, according to article 984 of the Civil Code, the wife can only revert to former nationality of her husband, and if she wants to revert to her original nationality which is different from the former nationality of her husband, the law is silent on this, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in practice accepts this change of nationality.

239. According to the Citizenship Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the important point in article 984 is the recognition of the right to choose nationality, not what government she chooses. The latter is a secondary matter and is not of essential importance in view of the government of Iran.

Family rights of women

240. Women have different rights and duties inside the family in view of their role as a wife and mother. The rights of women as wives are considered at three stages of marriage and formation of family, the marital life, and dissolution of marriage. These rights are explained in details in article 23. According to the Laws on Rights and Duties of Women in national and international arenas, the rights of women in the family are as follows:

Paragraph 21: The right and duty of women in consolidating the foundation of family and enjoyment of the required legal protection in order to prevent disagreements and reducing the number of divorces.

Paragraph 22: The right to use cultural, social and economic facilities to facilitate marriage at the right age, while abstaining until marriage.

Paragraph 23: The right to be aware of the rights and duties of the couples and to know the art of being a good spouse.

Paragraph 24: The right to know the standards and criteria of choosing a spouse.

Paragraph 26: The right to stipulate the prenuptial conditions within the framework of Sharia, and having sanction for these conditions.

Paragraph 27: The right to register marriage, divorce and resort to official and legal recourse.

Paragraph 28: The right of women to benefit from financial rights during marital life.

Paragraph 29: The right and duty to provide, dedicate, to be healthy and clean in sexual relations with the spouse and the right to initiate a protest in case of defects in these areas.

Paragraph 30: The right and duty to have common residence, good cohabitation, security and safety in relations with the spouse, the right to protest and initiate a complaint in case of abusive behavior by the spouse.

Paragraph 40: The right to separate from spouse in case of irreconcilable differences after resorting to court and presenting justifiable evidence, and the duty to respect the rules of divorce.

700. According to the article 1060 of the civil law, the marriage of Iranian woman with a foreign national even it has no any legal ban, is subject to the approval of the government. This article is regulated in a way that if the set condition was not observed by the parties, the marriage will not become void. It means that if a woman without getting the said permission from the government married to a foreigner while the other set conditions for correction of a marriage has fulfilled, the marriage would not be invalid but there would be some difficulties in registration. In fact this article lay down some limitation in choosing the husband with different nationality and is mainly set for support of Iranian women. Therefore those conditions that are set for issuing the marriage license in the Marriage Bylaw of Iranian Women, ratified in 1345, 1966, and its annexed not ratified in 1349, 1970, is mainly a security clause insuring that the husband has enough financial mean to support the expenses of his wife and also to get assurances that the marriage will be recognized valid by the law of the country of the husband and to find out that whether husband has had any criminal record or not.

701. In order to vacillate the marriage of youth several laws have been approved by the Islamic Assembly Council. Based on these laws in order to enhance ability of the youth enable them to institute the family, the government is obliged to create a deposit fund and by constructing temporary house make them available to the young couples. It is also laid down that if in young families none of the couple had no any job, up to two years they get allowance and Ministry of Science and Higher Education is obliged to increase subsidies of the married students two times of the subsidies of the single ones.

702. Regarding the fact that society in Iran is very young, and parallel to other activities in order to assist young generation for instituting family, a fund under the title of Mehr-i Reza has begun its official activities in early months of 1385/2006. Strategic policy and macro program of the fund is deciding by the Board of Trustees, and President and some Ministers. Presently this fund is active in 336 cities of the country. This fund provide following assistances for the marriage such as purchasing the household items, house, and small projects with rapid output for young. The facilities will pay by the relevant executive bodies. This fund by considering the basic needs of the young is trying to solve the problem of marriage of the young generation.

703. In 1380/2001, deputy for education and research of Judicial Power constituted a general director under the title of “popular educations”. The new administration begun to render general education and giving information to the public in different spheres including the rights of family enhancing law knowledge of the society, preventing of committing crime, judicial health, family rights, and … focusing Iranians inside and outside of country.

704. In this field, there has been edited and prepared 193 leaflets in simple form which is distributing freely among people in judicial complexes, parks, gathering halls, public cultural assemblies, cultural houses. One part of these educational leaflets that describe law materials in simple version are related to the family topics among which the following subjects are notable: What everyone should know about marriage, extra clause in marriage contract, wife expenses and one can regulate a petition, dissolution of marriage (divorce, annulment, waiving remaining period in temporary marriage), dowry, condition of payment of Religious expenses and fair equivalent remuneration to wife, inheritance of husband and wife, rights and duties of husband and wife in civil law, selling the dowry by man, remarriage and rights of wives, marriage with a divorcee woman, impoundment of mulct and withdrawing dowry from it, calculation of dowry after the dead of husband, dowry and inheritance applicable to the temporary marriage, registration and omission of marriage and divorce from the birth certificate, residency and occupation of couples, hardship and poverty of wife and demand for divorce by wife, questions and answers regarding issuing certificate of impossibility of compromise for rendering the formula of divorce, questions and answers regarding conception of divorce and precedent guarantee, insane of man and woman after rendering of marriage contract, arbitration in divorce case, financial rights of woman in permanent and non-permanent marriages, dissolution of non-permanent marriage contract, certificate on impossibility of compromise and period of its validity, different types of divorce, rights and responsibilities of minor, adult and mature, adoption, limits of criminal responsibility of the minors and manner of examination of the minors, abortion, law and child feeding, custody of the minor child after the death of his father, children expenses, custodian right of the mother to her child, condition of accepting petition for abortion.

705. Preparation and edition of 220 guiding card for those who come to the Ministry of Justice (regarding the manner of regulating the petition, writing and presenting complaints). These cards are available in the offices of judicial assistance, and guidance. Moreover there has been 37 educational workshops in cultural houses, and house of culture of the Tehran municipality for educating the families, holding 20 educational workshop in schools of Tehran, holding 5 imaginary courts for students at intermediary level of educational system, and cooperation with Tehran metro and Mehrabad Airport for dissemination of fellow citizen rights’ message through television systems of those centers, has been other executed program of the deputy for education and research of the Judicial Power.

706. According to article 1106 of civil law, husband is responsible for the expenses of his wife. Article 1107 of civil law has described these expenses which according the amendment dated 17.9.1381/8.12.2002, of the Islamic Assembly Council (The law of amendment of some articles of civil law) wife expenses is all reasonable needs and appropriate with the position of wife such as house, food, house furniture, health and remedy and servant in case of use to or in case of disability or illness. Also, wife must reside in the house that husband is choosing. Of course it is the right of woman to add a clause in marriage contract through which she decides about the house. Wife also can independently to consume her asset in a way that she wishes. Women also in the Islamic Republic of Iran holding their own name and family name after marriage.

707. According to the marriage law, ratified in 1310/1931, husband is obliged to register his permanent/non-permanent marriages, divorce, and his recourse of marriage. From the criminal aspect, legislature has supported the women’s rights; article 645 of the Islamic penal code, ratified in 1375/1996, says: “In order to safeguard the family institution, registration of permanent marriage, divorce, and recourse to marriage is necessary and if a man without registration in notary public to marry permanently or divorce or recourse to the marriage, he will condemned to correctional imprisonment up to one year. It is good to mention that Guardian Council has declared the criminal aspect of article 1 of marriage non-Islamic.

708. According to the civil law, woman applies for divorce on following reasons: 1. If the husband do not pay the wife expenses. 2. If the continuation of the marriage causes hardship and poverty. 3. If the wife has got power of attorney for divorce from her husband.

709. Wife, also, according to the paragraph 41 of the same law, wife in case of fraud and confessed defect is entitled to ask for divorce and to claim damage occurred from the confessed defect and misrepresentation.

710. In case of divorce under paragraph 42, woman is entitled to be benefited of financial rights and good behavior of husband at the time of separation. She is entitle to receive her dowry, trousseau, fair equivalent remuneration, religious expenses and material rights that according to the conditions which has been laid in marriage contract. Husband is obliged to pay expenses as far as he could be called the head of the family. After divorce, the joint living of husband and wife comes to the end. It is also assumable that half of the assets go to the wife.

711. In article 1119 of civil law, the legislature says: “Contracting parties of marriage can insert any clause to the marriage contract provided they were not contrary to the exigencies of the marriage contract or other binding contract. For example one can insert in the marriage contract that if the husband married to another woman, or to be absent for definite period or be not able to afford his wife’s expenses, or to attempt upon his wife’s life, or having such behavior that the continuance of the joint living be impossible, woman be attorney with right of substitution that after proving the laid clause in the court and issue of the final Ruling from the court make herself divorced. (Please refer to sub annexation No. 76 and 89).

712. According to the article 1128 of civil law, both husband and wife under some circumstances are entitled to annul the marriage contract. According to this article “if from one party a particular clause has been set and after the marriage it was proved that he/she had no such peculiarity, other party is entitled to ask for annulment of the marriage, whether that peculiarity has been write in contract explicitly or the contract by some difference has been contracted.” On this base, legislature has anticipated some punishment for misrepresentation/fraud and in article 647 of Islamic Penal code has laid down that: “If before the rendering the marriage contract one of the couple deceive other party by pretending some illusionary things such as having high education, enjoying good financial support, top social position, good occupation, being single, and so on, and marriage contract be concluded on such bases, the party who has committed fraud will be condemned to correcting imprisonment from 6 months up to 3 years.” Regarding the right of divorce for women, it should be said that: “by amending some article of the civil law (ratified on 19.8. 1381/10.11.2002), new article 1133 says that man by observing condition laid down by this law can refer to the court and demand for the divorce (contrary to the previous law that was saying man can divorce his wife whenever he wants to do so). In the meanwhile by adding one new not to this article, wife can demand for divorce if the conditions set by the article 1119 was realized (clause put to the contract, article 1129 of civil law (abstraction from paying wife expenses or inability or to be impossible to force him to pay his wife expenses) and article 1130 of civil law (hardship and poverty).

714. By paying attention to the role of mother and duty and responsibility of the women in this rile, legislature has had special attention in this regard many laws has been ratified notably article 21 of Center for Improvement and Training in support of mothers particularly during pregnancy and child-rearing, guardianship of children, protection of mothers during pregnancy, regulating and control of pregnancy and enjoying from proper training and possibilities in this regard, and article 622 of the Islamic Penal Code has also some provision on harassment and misbehavior with the pregnant and safeguarding the health of mothers and their babies and rights of women to work, and half time work for the women.

715. For support from establishment and development of non-governmental organization, civil institutions, grouping and women syndicates, one can refer to 23 important projects each enjoying huge budget presented to the Majlis in form of a comprehensive bill. Moreover, in budget of year 1386/2007, the government had allocated 470000 million Rials to non-governmental and women groupings in form of grant and not repayable credit. It is worthy to be mentioned that the number of NGOs at the end of 1386, March 2008, has been 980 units which in compare with 1376/1997 it has increased 16 times.

716. Center for women and family in President Office, has prepared different projects for further firmness of families and prevention of disintegrating of them; the projects that many of them are executing among which we can refer to education project. The aim of these projects is solidarity of the family foundation and effectiveness of family operation. Up to now 160915 persons belonging to the civil servants section of the government has participated in the above program.

717. Regarding progress and developments fulfilled in favor of women and in judicial precedent during last 12 years one can refer to the following cases:

(a) Amendment of article 1107 of the Civil Code regarding the expenses of wives (1381/2002), according to the amendment of the mentioned article, wife expenses is all reasonable needs and appropriate with the position of wife such as house, food, house furniture, health and remedy and servant in case of use to or in case of disability or illness, in which the cost of health and remedy is added in examples;

(b) Amendment of article 1082 of the Civil Code regarding dowry of wife (1375/1996): in case that dowry be in current money, appropriate to the annual price index at the time of payment in respect to the time of rendering the contract, it will calculated by the Central Bank of Iran, and will be paid;

(c) Amendment of article 336 of the Civil Code regarding fair equivalent remuneration of wife (ratified in 1385/ 2006): Beside note 6 of unit article amending the law of divorce in which wage for work in home, which according to the religious law was not drawn on wife, in case of divorce wife is entitled to get it. In Bahman 1385, February 2007, fair equivalent remuneration of the work of wives (regardless divorce or not divorce) by adding a note to the article 336 of the Civil Code, was accepted;

(d) Amendment of article 1169 of the Civil Code (1381/ 2002) regarding increase of the age of custody of the children by their mother to 7 years for both boy and girl, while according to the previous law the custody of the boys till age 2 and custody of the girls till age 7 was with their mother. In case of emerging difference on custody of the children after the age of seven, the court by paying attention to the interest of the child(ren), will decide and will put the child(ren) under the care of each parents;

(e) Amendment of article 1133 regarding the right of divorce by man (rectified in 1381/2002). Prior to the amendment man could divorce his wife whenever he wants to do so, while woman should prove some conditions before the court. In this amendment some condition has laid down for man in order to divorce his wife;

(f) Annexing a note to article 1130 the Civil Code regarding divorce by the wife (ratified in 1381/2002). By annexed note wife can demand for divorce in case of hardship and poverty as an example. Many of these cases are counted. After revolution, in years 1362–63/1983–84/ there was printed in the marriage contract that man can give power of attorney to his wife for divorce (please refer to sub-appendix No. 86).

718. Also for more information regarding existing precedents on the question of polygamy and obtaining permission for remarriage of husband, please refer to appendix No. 55.

733. The legislator has distinguished some person ineligible to be appointed as guardian and bar the Judges to appoint such persons as guardian, so article 1231 says: The following persons should not be appointed as guardians:

1. Those persons who are themselves under guardianship.

2. Those persons who, by reason of perpetrating a felony or the following misdemeanors been convicted by a final judgment: Theft, abuse of confidence (breach of trust), swindling embezzlement, rape or immoral acts, offences against children, and fraudulent bankruptcy.

3. Persons for whom orders of bankruptcy are issued and whose bankruptcy has not yet been settled.

4. Persons who are notorious for their immoral acts.

5. A person who either in his own name or in that of his relatives of the first degree has a claim against the person under incapacity.

737. Law concerning the right of custody ratified on 22.4.1365/13.7.1986, single article: if by order of the Special Civil Court or vice of that court, the custody of the child goes with the person and the father or mother or other person withhold the execution of the order and or refuse to give back the child, the court that has given Ruling will enforce him to waive the obstacle or give back the child and if he oppose the decision of the court, he will condemned to imprisonment until he render the order of the court.


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