Chapter I: Generalities
Article 1: The following words and expressions are used in these bylaws for the respective ideas described below:
a) NGO, which is referred to as “organization” in these bylaws, refers to a formation which was formed by groups of actual or legal individuals who voluntarily obey the relevant stipulations and have nonprofit and nonpolitical aims.
Note 1: The expressions “society,” “center,” “group,” “house,” “foundation,” etc. may be used in place of “organization.”
Note 2: “Nongovernmental” means that governmental institutions did not intervene in the founding or administering of the organization. The participation of government officials or employees is no obstacle to the organization being called nongovernmental on the condition that it be outside their governmental title and position.
Note 3: Nonpolitical goals cover activities not included in Article 1 of the Law on Parties.
Note 4: Nonprofit goals cover goals which are not mercantile or trade activities for profit with the aim of dividing their benefits among that organization’s members, founders, managers, or workers.
Note 5: Voluntarily means the participation and foundation and management of the organization are based on the principle of the individuals’ free will.
b) The Board of Founders refers to the group of individuals who founded the organization.
c) The activities license is a document which is issued by the authorities stipulated in these bylaws in accordance with the relevant regulations for the formation of the organization.
d) The supervisory authorities consist of the township’s Oversight Board (composed of the township’s governor, a representative of the township’s Islamic council, and a representative of the township’s NGOs), the province’s Oversight Board (composed of the province’s governor, a representative of the province’s Islamic council, and a representative of the NGOs), and the country’s Oversight Board (composed of the relevant aide to the Minister of the Interior, a representative of the Supreme Council of Provinces, and a representative of the NGOs) which will act on the basis of and in conformity with these bylaws and the stipulations relevant to overseeing NGOs on the township, provincial, and national levels, aside from formations for which a special supervisory authority is foreseen according to the law. The country’s Oversight Board shall supervise inter-district, national, or international NGOs.
Article 2: The organization, after obtaining an activities license and being confirmed in accordance with these bylaws and the other current stipulations, shall have a legal character.
Article 3: The organization’s subject of activity will consist of one or several scientific, cultural, social, sports, artistic, philanthropic and humanitarian, woman’s affairs, the socially injured, welfare, health and medical, therapeutic, environmental, developmental, etc. issues.
Chapter II: Rights and Duties
Article 4: The organization has the right to carry out its activities in accordanc with these bylaws and the other relevant laws and stipulations such as:
a) Presenting aid needed by governmental and nongovernmental institutions.
b) Expressing views and suggestions for appropriate guidance:
i) In planning by government and public authorities on the township, provincial, or national level, as the case may be.
ii) Telling the appropriate legal authorities and institutions about the effects and results of governmental and nongovernmental public institutions and existing deficiencies and difficulties.
c) Helping in implementing governmental and nongovernmental public plans and projects through making agreements and understandings with them.
d) Holding meetings and marches for the achievement of the organization’s goals.
e) Issuing publications.
f) Performing any manner of other activities to secure the aims stipulated in the organization’s constitution.
g) The right to appeal for justice through the judicial and quasi-judicial authorities.
Article 5: The organization is obliged to present to the relevant supervisory authorities an annual report of its executive and financial activities up to at most two months after the end of each financial year. In addition, in the course of the year, it shall present all reports of its executive and financial activities upon request by the aforementioned authority [sic: singular] as appropriate, as well as publish a summary of the aforementioned annual report for public information within its geographic sphere of activities.
Article 6: The organization’s budget shall be secured from the following sources:
a) Gifts and aid by actual and legal individuals, both domestic and foreign, governmental and nongovernmental.
b) Waqfs or liens.
c) Salary obtained from activities performed within the organization’s given framework of activity, the organization’s goals and constitution, and these bylaws.
d) The organization’s membership dues.
Note 1: The organization is obliged before receiving help from foreign sources to declare the details about the donor, the level of aid, and its nature to the relevant supervisory authorities as explained as the case may be. The aforementioned authorities are obliged to present the aforementioned declaration should the Ministries of Intelligence and of Foreign Affairs and the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran request it, within a week from the day the declaration was received. The agreement of the aforementioned institutions is necessary, and these institutions are obliged to state their position within at most a month after the request is presented. Not presenting a response within this period is equivalent to stating agreement.
Note 2: Receiving help from official and regional organizations and agencies related to the UN do not require permission. A list of such organizations shall be prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and placed at the disposal of the Supervisory Board.
Article 7: The division of the organization’s property, profit, or income among its founders, members, managers, and workers is forbidden before and after its dissolution.
Article 8: The organization’s constitution and activities must not be in violation of the Constitution.
Article 9: The organization is obliged to provide access by investigators of the relevant supervisory authorities to its information and documents. The investigators, for their part, may review the aforementioned documents and information in the presence of a representative of the organization and only on the premises of the organization’s office. The review much be carried out in such a way as not to disturb the organization’s work. Removing documents from the organization in the course of investigation is forbidden except by the legitimate judiciary legislative authority’s order.
Article 10: The organization’s activity in other countries must be conducted with the general permission of the interprovincial and national supervisory authorities.
Note 1: The aforementioned authorities must request the opinion of the relevant governmental institutions, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before announcing the result to the applicant organization. The aforementioned institutions must present the necessary response within at most a month, otherwise it will be assumed that their opinion is a positive one.
Note 2: The aforementioned authority must present the necessary response to the applicant within at most 45 days from the day of the application.
Note 3: An application from an organization which is limited to a township or a province, as the case may be, must first be made through the supervisory authority of the township or province.
Note 4: The participation of the organization in international meetings, periods of training, and expositions must be done with the written information of the supervisory authorities.
Article 11: The organization must conform in its activities to the laws and stipulations and norms of behavior of civil institutions and refrain from culpability in criminal activity.
Article 12: The organization has the right to access information existing in public institutions, and the aforementioned institutions are obliged to place its unclassified information at its disposal.
Article 13: Governmental and public organizations and foundations are obliged, in the course of making decisions about taking a position on an organization, to invite it [instead of “them”] to participate in meetings and place a report on the points of view presented in the relevant organization’s documents.
Article 14: The government is obliged to identify the duties and activities which can be assigned by the executive institutions to the organization and take measures towards making these assignments, and the organization, for its part, has the right to present its own suggestions on this matter to the government.
Article 15: Government organizations are obliged to provide grounds for the organization’s participation in the proper execution of public affairs and their participation with fact-finding commissions, should this be necessary.
Article 16: An organization has the right to institute proceedings in the sphere of its activities and to promote public interests against actual or legal characters among the legal authorities.
Chapter III: Issuing an Activities License
Article 17: Applicants to found an organization are obliged to request from the supervisory authorities stipulated in Clause d of Article 1 in cases in which no special authority has been determined to issue an organization’s license in accordance with the law.
Note 1: A secretariat for the country’s, province’s, and township’s Supervisory Board shall be set up in the Ministry of the Interior and the province’s and township’s government, respectively.
Note 2: The Ministry of the Interior and the province’s and township’s government are responsible for the secretariat of the country’s, province’s, and township’s Supervisory Board, respectively.
Note 3: The secretariat of the Supervisory Board is to hold administrative ceremonies and perform the measures mentioned in these bylaws.
Note 4: The necessary decisions concerning issuing or declining a license and granting permission are to take place in the Supervisory Board.
Note 5: The license and the signature of the relevant documents are to be issued upon the approval of the country’s Supervisory Board with the Ministry of the Interior, the provincial Supervisory Board with the provincial governor, and in the township’s Supervisory Board with the township’s governor.
Article 18: Members of the Board of Founders must satisfy the following conditions:
a) Be at least eighteen years old.
b) Be an Iranian citizen.
c) Possess the expertise of at least two founders in the organization’s fields of activity.
d) Not be a member of any group which, in the opinion of the proper court, is considered mohareb or an obstinate opponent and has not been condemned to being deprived of social rights.
Note: The founding body must have at least five members.
Article 19: NGOs which have joint fields or goals of activity may, should they fulfill the following conditions, form a network or be members in international networks if:
a) At least two years have passed since their registration.
b) They have not been condemned in accordance with clauses c or d of Article 28 of these bylaws.
c) They have acted in accordance with their duties listed in Article 5 of these bylaws.
d) They are Iranian citizens.
e) They are founding members of at least five Iranian NGOs.
Note 1: It is not necessary to make the requests mentioned in Notes 2 and 3 of Article 22 of these bylaws to found NGO networks.
Note 2: The issuance of an activities license for networks of NGOs is the responsibility of the country’s Supervisory Board and follows these bylaws’ stipulations. Rights, duties, and the other stipulations of the aforementioned networks are just the same as those which have been prescribed for NGOs.
Article 20: In order to obtain an activities license, the Board of Founders must present the following documents as the case may be to the authorities mentioned in Article 17 of these bylaws:
a) A completed application form.
b) A copy of the identity documents of the Board of Founders.
c) The organization’s constitution.
d) The first minutes of the Board of Founders.
Article 21: The organization’s constitution must contain the following items:
a) The organization’s goals.
b) Its sphere of activity.
c) Its length of activity.
d) Its primary center of activity.
e) How branches are formed.
f) The organization’s bases and formations, manner of elections, and an explanation of their duties and powers and responsibilities.
g) Who is allowed to sign for it.
h) Conditions for membership.
i) Sources for securing income and property.
j) Ways of changing and amending the foundational document.
k) How it is dissolved.
l) Specifications for disbursing property after dissolution.
m) The organization’s geographic sphere of activity.
Note 1: The organization’s constitution must explain that there is a free vote of all the members for electing officers as well as the means of changing the officers and their tenure in office as well as the basic decisions in creating any change and implementing it.
Note 2: The organization’s foundational document must clearly specify the manner of preparing reports of its executive and financial activity to its members as well as a review and accounting of itself.
Note 3: The geographic boundaries of the organization’s activities will be determined on the initiative of the Board of Founders and based upon the country’s indicators of division.
Article 22: The authority for issuing activity licenses—as mentioned in Article 17—must announce either its support or rejection of the application within at most two weeks after receiving the organization’s application.
Note 1: Should the Supervisory Board reject the application, it is obliged to announce in writing its reasons for rejecting it within at most two weeks.
Note 2: Should the organization’s subject of activity be related to the duties of any governmental institutions, it is also necessary to obtain the agreement of the government institution or institutions respectively.
Note 3: The Supervisory Board is obliged to take measures to obtain the opinion of the relevant authority (ministry, court, security force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and specialized institutions) within one week from the date of the application’s receipt and that authority, for its part, is obliged to declare its opinion within a month, otherwise the view of the aforementioned board is to be considered in agreement.
Note 4: The applicant for issuing a license may protest the rejection of his application as follows:
a) From the decision of the township’s Supervisory Board, one month from the date of issuance, to the province’s Supervisory Board, and should the province’s supervisory committee reject the application, one month to the national Supervisory Board.
b) From the decision of the province’s Supervisory Board one month after the date of issuance to the country’s Supervisory Board.
c) The national Supervisory Board’s decision is to be implemented in all cases, but may be protested in the administrative court of justice.
Article 23: The General Assembly and the Board of Trustees (as the case may be) are the organization’s highest executive authority and must satisfy the conditions stipulated in Article 18 of these bylaws.
Article 24: The organization must consist of Iranian citizens.
Article 25: The organization is obliged to communicate any changes in the content of its constitution, Board of Management, Board of Trustees and address to the authority which issued the relevant license. Should these authorities announce that the changes do not violate these bylaws’ stipulations, the organization is obliged, when these bylaws are confirmed, to take measures to confirm it in the Nonmercantile Corporations and Foundations and publish this in the official press.
Chapter IV: Supervision
Article 26: The duties of the province’s and township’s supervisory authorities in connection with NGOs limited in activity to the level of a province or a township are described as follows:
a) The receipt and review of the constitution of the applicants for founding an organization and taking measures to issue their activity license after confirming that they meet the conditions stipulated in these bylaws.
b) The receipt of annual reports of executive and financial activity and, should it be necessary, contingent material.
c) Investigation into the organization’s executive and financial activity, should it be necessary.
d) Supervision over the execution of these bylaws’ stipulations.
Article 27: The duties of the interprovincial and national supervisory authority concerning NGOs are as follows:
a) The receipt and review of the constitutions of applicants for founding NGOs with interprovincial and national boundaries and taking measures to issue their activity licenses after confirming that they meet the conditions stipulated in these bylaws.
b) The receipt of annual reports of executive and financial activity and, should it be necessary, contingent material.
c) Investigation and statement of position and making decisions regarding complaints received from applicants in the event of delay in issuing an activity license and other difficulties and differences between the NGOs with governors.
d) Supervision over specialist NGOs will be carried out by the relevant institutions in coordination with the Ministry of the Interior.
Article 28: Supervisory authorities are obliged within the boundaries of their activities upon receiving a report or information about noncompliance with these bylaws’ stipulations by an organization to investigate it in the consultative presence of a representative of the relevant NGO and a representative of the relevant specialist governmental institution and, should a violation be confirmed, it should follow the following stages, as the case may be:
a) An oral warning with a one-month grace period to reform the situation.
b) A written warning with a copy sent to the files with a one-month grace period to reform the situation.
c) Suspension of license for a three-month period.
d) A request of the court for the annulment of the activity license if the situation is not reformed.
Note 1: The aforementioned shall be communicated by the officer of the secretariat of the Supervisory Board and be confirmed in his file.
Note 2: The manner in which the supervisory authorities are to proceed on the basis of this article will be determined by a statement by the Minister of the Interior which will be issued a month after the date these bylaws are promulgated.
Article 29: The issuance of foreign and international NGOs’ permission for activities and their supervision is the responsibility of a board composed of a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a representative of the Ministry of the Interior, a representative of the Ministry of Intelligence, and a representative of the ministry or government organization connected with the subject of activity of that foreign or international NGO.
Note: After obtaining permission, activity by the aforementioned NGOs shall follow these bylaws’ stipulations.
Chapter V: The Remaining Stipulations
Article 30: NGOs which follow the content of these bylaws and have been formed through executing the current stipulations to this day must make their condition conform to the stipulations of these bylaws, otherwise they will not share in the advantages these bylaws provide.
Article 31: The dissolution of an organization, whether voluntary or compulsory, is based on the relevant content of the bylaws for confirming nonprofit organizations and foundations ratified in 1337  and its subsequent amendments.
Note: Should the organization’s period of activity have been indicated as limited in its constitution, the organization shall dissolve on its own after its expiration and its not being extended on the basis of these bylaws’ stipulations.
Article 32: Workers’ and managers’ organizations as mentioned in Chapter VI of the Labor Law, higher educational units or research foundations mentioned in clause (L) of Article 1 of the Law for Reforming the Law for Founding the Ministry of Scholarship and Higher Education ratified in 1353 , private learning institutions as well as nonprofit schools mentioned in the Law for Founding Nongovernmental Schools and other Nongovernmental Formations, the responsibility for the founding and dissolving of which has clearly been given over in the text of the current laws to governmental institutions, are outside the purview of the organizations subject to these bylaws.
Note 1: The Ministry of the Interior is the authority for issuing licenses for specialist NGOs conforming to these bylaws’ stipulations and upon obtaining the view of the relevant institutions.
Note 2: The method of issuing a permit for youth NGOs is in accordance with the memorandum of understanding signed by the Ministry of the Interior and the National Youth Organization.
Article 33: From the date of this certificate of confirmation, certificates of confirmation 12608/t27367 h dated 9/11/1381 [January 29, 2003], 34909/t27367 h dated 24/6/1382 [September 15, 2003], and 55877/t29645 h dated 15/10/1382 [January 5, 2004] are nullified.
First Aide to the President, Mohammad-Reza Aref