Charter for Neighborhood Councils


Upon forming the Islamic city and village councils based on the sixth, seventh, one hundredth, one hundred first, one hundred third, one hundred fifth, and one hundred sixth articles of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the theoretical and actual expansion of the councils was transformed into a historic and unavoidable necessity.

In accordance with the 71st article of the law of bureaucratic structures [tashkilat], passed on 1/3/1375 [3/22/1996], [which defines]the responsibilities and elections of Islamic [city] councils in the country and the election of mayors; and in consideration of the large and expansive volume of different issues and problems – both qualitative and quantitative – in the cities, especially in the grand city of Tehran; [it has been decided that] resolving these issues and improving conditions requires decentralization and collecting the opinion of the vast majority of the people.  Furthermore, true, lasting, continuous, and foundational participation requires establishing civil and voluntary associations and institutions with the participation of the people.

Towards achieving these goals, and especially implementing the sixth and seventh articles of the above-mentioned law, the Islamic City Council of Tehran, in line with this plan, initiated the establishment of neighborhood council associations [Anjoman-hayeh Shoraayari] in the neighborhoods of Tehran.

Section 1: Generalities
Article 1. Towards realizing and implementing the law of councils, increasing the participation of Tehran’s citizens in resolving various issues of the city, and attracting their true participation in enhancing the quality of life of all citizens; neighborhood council associations of the city of Tehran, related to the Tehran city council, will be formed.

Clause. In this charter, neighborhood council of the city of Tehran will be referred to as neighborhood council for brevity.

Article 2. Neighborhood council is a non-governmental, non-centralized, non-political, voluntary, and participatory body and is economically self-sufficient.

Article 3. Neighborhood councils will be active within neighborhood sized zones throughout the city.

            Clause 1. Any given individual may  be a member of only one neighborhood council.

            Clause 2. The elections for membership in the neighborhood council will be based on by-laws that will be prepared and legislated by the committee of neighborhood councils of the Islamic City Council of the City of Tehran.

Clause 3. Voters who participate in the neighborhood council elections must be at least 15 years old.

Article 4. Neighborhood councils are self-operated and self-sufficient and must be managed by the residents of the neighborhood themselves in every way. However, until it achieves self-reliance, a neighborhood council may utilize some of the resources of the Tehran city council.

Clause. Membership of individuals in the neighborhood councils is honorary and on a volunteer basis.

Section Two: Conditions for membership, the election process for members of the council, and the organization of the neighborhood council.


Article 5. Conditions for candidates for membership in the neighborhood councils are:

1.     A minimum age of 25 years old.

2.     The ability to read and write.

3.     Residence in the neighborhood for at least six months.

Article 6. The membership of neighborhood councils consists of 7 principle members and 3 reserve members.

          Clause 1. Members of the neighborhood council will elect one director from among themselves on the first meeting. He/she will be responsible for being the spokesperson for the council, will maintain contact with other councils and will be responsible for the council’s correspondences. The method of contact between neighborhood councils will be stated by the by-laws drafted and approved by the coordinating committee of the neighborhood councils of the Islamic City Council of Tehran.

Clause 2. The reserve members of the neighborhood council will participate in all meetings and-in the absence of principle members in a meeting-have the right to vote.

Clause 3. Any time a member or members end their memberships in the council for any reason, reserve members will be invited to join according to the number of votes.

Article 7. The principle and reserve members of the neighborhood council are elected for two years.

Section Three: The structure of the neighborhood councils
Article 8. The structure of the neighborhood council includes:

–       Neighborhood council

–       Working groups

Article 9. The coordinating committee of the neighborhood council is made up of five members of the Islamic City Council of Tehran.  They include:

A.     Two members of the social and cultural commission who are elected and introduced by the [social and cultural] commission.

B.     Three members of the Islamic City Council of Tehran who are appointed by the city council itself.

The meetings of the coordinating committee will be considered official when three members are present and their decisions based on majority vote are the law.

In their first meeting, members of the coordinating committee are required to choose from among themselves a director, a deputy, and a secretary.

The director of the coordinating committee must be one of the two members from the social and cultural commission.

Article 10. The responsibilities of the coordinating committee are the following:

–       Planning, policy-making, and supervision of the neighborhood councils.

–       Presenting reports on the activities of the neighborhood councils to the city council.

–       Coordination between neighborhood councils.

–       Relaying decisions from the city council to the neighborhood councils.

–       Follow-up and implementation of the programs and policies that have been established by the city council.

–       Referring the recommendations, views, and plans of the neighborhood councils to the city council.

–       Inspection, if requested by the city council, and formation of a disciplinary committee.

–       Formation of an executive committee, determining its responsibilities, membership, and director; and determining the method of interaction with the neighborhood councils.

Clause. The members and director of the executive committee are nominated by the director of the coordinating committee and are selected by the approval of this committee.

Responsibilities of the executive committee:

1.     Follow-up and implementation of the programs approved by the coordinating committee.

2.     Facilitating interaction between the neighborhood councils and executive bodies towards resolving the problems of neighborhood councils.

3.     Following through with ongoing and budgetary issues of the neighborhood councils.

4.     Presenting reports to the coordinating committee.

5.     Arranging issues related to the elections of the neighborhood councils according to the decisions of the coordinating committee.

Article 11. Responsibilities of the neighborhood councils are:

1.     Identifying problems, offering proposals and recommendations, and working towards creating a healthy environment, with the aims of fighting pollution of the soil and water, noise, and saving energy in [public and private] spaces.

2.     Identifying problems and offering proposals and recommendations for improving traveling within the city with the aim of optimizing transport.

3.     Preparing proposals and recommendations for creating city signs and landmark posts, and recommendations for naming pathways, squares, roads, and streets.

4.     Offering proposals and recommendations in the area of gathering resources for leisure activities for youth and adolescents, and expanding leisure activities, sports, and arts centers in coordination with the implementing board.

5.     Cooperation with the Islamic city council for providing peace and security in the city and fighting against social decay and situations that encourage crime.

6.     Cooperation with the Islamic city council in introducing and teaching the rights and responsibilities of citizens and [encouraging] people’s participation and public awareness.

7.     Offering proposals and recommendations for autonomous management of public spaces; arranging for beautification and optimizing the public environment in the city.

8.     Cooperation in creating and expanding green space and autonomous management of city parks.

9.     Cooperation with the Islamic City Council of Tehran in expanding voluntary activities and institutions that benefit society.

10.     Examining and identifying needs, shortages, and social, cultural, educational, health, economic, welfare and infrastructural deficiencies of the neighborhood.

11.     Preparing proposals and recommendations in various areas of city life.

12.     Cooperation with the Islamic City Council of Tehran towards creating various voluntary associations in the areas of medical, social, and educational assistance; and creating cooperatives for production, distribution, and consumption of basic necessities.

13.     Cooperation with the Islamic City Council of Tehran towards regulating real-estate prices and rental rates within the city.

14.     Offering plans and recommendations towards non-military self-defense education to the citizenry and cooperation with the council in confronting and preventing undesirable incidents.

15.     Cooperation in managing public spaces including Quran memorization classes [dar al-tahfiz], sports center, publishing houses… by coordinating with the executive committee of the neighborhood council.

16.     Cooperation and assistance in managing religious and cultural spaces if requested by the related authorities.

17.     Participation in organizing national elections for the parliament [majlis], presidency, and the Assembly of Experts by working with [election] officials if requested by the relevant legal authorities.

18.     Cooperation towards organizing city transportation.

Clause 1. All the above responsibilities, including providing proposals and cooperative efforts that require interactions with executive agencies will be done through coordination with the executive committee.

Clause 2. The essence of the responsibilities of the neighborhood council is strictly diagnostic, supervisory, advisory, and cooperative.


Article 12. In order to carry out their duties, neighborhood councils will create volunteer work groups composed of experts.

Article 13. Executive, electoral, and disciplinary by-laws, detailed plans, and the organizational structure of the neighborhood councils as well as any adjustments made to them must be prepared by the coordinating committee and after the approval of this committee, must be implemented.

Section Four: Disbanding the neighborhood councils

Article 14. Inthecase that they evade their responsibilities, neighborhood councils may be disbanded by recognition and recommendation of the disciplinary committee and upon approval of the coordinating committee of the neighborhood councils.

A few explanations on the other decisions of the committee up to now:

1.     The by-law related to implementing elections, conditions and manner of membership, and also other changes in the charter will be prepared and delivered separately by the coordinating committee.

2.     According to the decree of the coordinating committee, the Tehran municipality is required to provide space and facilities for the activity of neighborhood councils within city limits.

3.     Expenses for the neighborhood councils will be determined and paid for based on the expert opinion of the executive committee of the neighborhood councils.

4.     The current neighborhood councils will continue their activities for a period of another year and the executive committee will manage all issues related to them.

5.     From now on, meetings between the cooperating committee and the neighborhood councils will be held regularly and consistently.

6.     Members of the coordinating committee and the executive committee of the neighborhood councils have been elected.

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