Opinion: The supreme leader comes first in Iran
The rule was approved by parliament in September 2018 and banned retirees from being re-employed in the public sector. Once the law came into effect, several senior officials, including deputy ministers, were replaced by younger officials. But the ban did not apply to the country’s president, the parliament’s speaker and vice-speakers, members of the Guardian Council, chief of the judiciary, ministers, legislators and vice-presidents.
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“This is a very good law. We needed this law,” Ali Khamenei told the public, adding “it breaks Iran’s closed circle of administration and opens up the path for the younger generation after a long time.” He, however, criticized the Majlis and asked its members to ratify the modification. “To take this law as a whole is not correct. There might be some people, maybe not too many, for whom there can be no substitutes.” Khamenei added.
The law in question crossed all legal hurdles and was implemented despite protests from current officials, many of whom were affected by the new rule despite long years in service. It was confirmed by the Guardian Council, a body appointed by the supreme leader that oversees the functioning of the Majlis and interprets the constitution, among others. The council, government and the parliament had not taken any objections into consideration previously. Following Khamenei’s public speech, however, the Majlis immediately announced that the law would be reviewed and amended.