According to the constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran, the President of Iran is the chief executive who is elected by direct vote of people of Iran and Supreme Leader of Iran is the highest ranked political and religious head in Islamic Republic of Iran. The Supreme Leader of Iran is selected by an assembly of experts. The President of Iran is subordinate to Supreme Leader of Iran.

Comparison chart

President Of Iran versus Supreme Leader Of Iran comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartPresident Of IranSupreme Leader Of Iran
Position Highest elected official (subordinate to Supreme Leader). Highest ranking political and religious authority.
Incumbent Hassan Rouhani Ali Khamenei
Residence Sa'dabad Palace Beit Rahbari, Tehran, Iran
In office since August 3, 2013 June 4, 1989
Appointer Popularly Elected Assembly of Experts
Formation of post October 24, 1979 December 3, 1979
Former Leaders Abulhassan Banisadr (first), Mohammad-Ali Rajai (second) Ruhollah Khomeini (1979-1989)


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran

The President of Iran is responsible for signing if treaties, agreements with other countries, international organizations etc. He has the power to appoint ministers, ambassadors, governors once approved by the parliament.

Supreme Leader of Iran has the authority to appoint heads of powerful posts like commander of armed forces, heads of major religious foundations, director of national radio and television network, prayer leaders of city mosques, chief judge, members of the national Security Council, dealing with foreign affairs and defense, chief prosecutor, 12 jurists of Guardian Council.

Qualification and Status to Assume Office

President of Iran is elected to office by national election which allows adults above 15 years of age to vote. The presidential candidate must have approval of Guardian Council. Among the 12 members of Guardian Council, 6 are appointed by the Supreme Leader in accordance with preserving values of Islamic Republic. The Constitution of Iran states the following qualifications for Presidential post:

The selected candidate must be elected with a simple majority.

The Supreme Leader of Iran is elected by Assembly of Experts. The Assembly retains power to dismiss the Supreme Leader too. Supreme Leader is the ultimate head of the Iranian government and religion. He has the last say in all matters of Iran. This right is bestowed on Supreme Leader of Iran by the constitution. Supreme Leader retains power to dismiss the President, Guardian Council, Expediency Council and legitimating any law.

Powers and Responsibilities

President of Iran is the Head of Cabinet and Government, Head of Council of National Security, Selects all Vice Presidents, sends and receives foreign ambassadors and is Head of Council of Cultural Revolution. When President is impeached or dies, a Presidential Council takes his place until the next election.

Supreme Leader of Iran delineates general policies of Iran, supervises proper execution of policies of systems, issues decrees on national referendums, assumes supreme command over armed forces and is responsible for declaration of war, mobilization of armed forces etc, complete control over Fuqaha on Guardian Council, judicial authority of Iran, chief of joint staff, supreme commanders of armed forces, signing decrees for elections in Iran, pardoning and reducing sentences of convicts, etc.


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