A view of the parliament in Tehran, Iran.
(photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE YAZDI/ TIMA VIA REUTERS)
The Iranian Guardian Council said over the weekend that it rejected and sent a bill back to the Iranian parliament which would allow all Iranian mothers married to foreign citizens to have the ability to transfer their Iranian citizenship onto their children or spouses, according to the council's website.
The council is willing to pass the bill with certain amendments, such as that foreign husbands, fathers and children will have the ability to earn Iranian citizenship, but only if the request is given government approval, citing "security" issues - including the over three-million Afghani immigrants currently living in the country, some of whom are married to Iranian women.
The council's main idea is to allow the government to legally have discretion over who has the ability to gain Iranian citizenship, based on marriage, birth, security concerns, etc.
Iran is one of a handful of countries which "do not allow mothers to confer their citizenship on their children with no or very limited exceptions," according to a 2019 UNHCR report.
The bill was passed in May by a sweeping majority. However the council, consisting of a twelve-member group of clerics and jurists, declined the version of the bill and sent it back to the parliament.
All regulations, statutes, laws and decrees must be considered by the Guardian Council - as they are tasked by the Islamic republic with the responsibility of overseeing and vetting both legislation and elections, and parliamentary powers are limited in Iran.
Parliament will amend the bill and send it back to the council for further review.
"Thousands of children were left out in the cold... with this law things would have cleared up for them," said sociologist Mohammad Reza Jalaeipour in an IRNA interview. "Some of them can't have driving licenses, some of them can't have social security."
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