February 16, 2007 -- The UN Security Council has condemned a recent bus bombing that killed at least 11 people in southeastern Iran.
The statement followed an Iranian request to the council.
The Security Council condemned the "terrorist attack" against the bus, which was transporting Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) troops in the southeastern border town of Zahedan on February 14.
Russia says it hopes the move will help improve relations between Tehran and the Security Council, which Iranian officials have suggested Western critics are trying to "use...as an instrument of pressure and intimidation."
INSIDE THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC: Iran is a theocratic Islamic republic governed under a 1979 constitution that was revised in 1989, when presidential powers were expanded and the prime minister's post was abolished.
Appointed -- not elected -- offices and bodies hold the real power in the government. The supreme leader, who serves as a chief of state would, is appointed for life by an Islamic religious advisory board that is called the Assembly of Experts. The supreme leader oversees the military as well as the judiciary and appoints members of the Guardians Council and the Expediency Council.
The Guardians Council -- some of whose members are appointed by the judiciary and approved by the parliament -- works closely with the government and must approve political candidates and legislation passed by the parliament. The Expediency Council is responsible for resolving legislative disputes that may arise between parliament and the Guardians Council over legislation.
The president, who is popularly elected for a four-year term, serves as the head of government. The legislative branch is made up of a 290-seat body called the Majlis, whose members are elected by popular vote for four-year terms...(more)
RFE/RL's coverage of Iran