Concluding observation Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights E/C.12/IRN/CO/2 para 4 Full recommendation: The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that all the obligations of the Covenant are fully respected under all circumstances and that Constitutional provisions, in particular articles 4 and 20, are applied in a manner consistent with the provisions of the Covenant. The Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general comments No. 3 (1990) on the nature of States parties’ obligations and No. 9 (1998) on the domestic application of the Covenant, and refers to the duty of States parties, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1 Article 4 of the Iranian Constitution states that “All civil, penal financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and other laws and regulations must be based on Islamic criteria. This principle applies absolutely and generally to all articles of the Constitution as well as to all other laws and regulations, and the wise persons of the Guardian Council are judges in this matter.”2 Article 20 of the Iranian Constitution states that “All citizens of the country, both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria.”3 According to Article 4 of the Constitution the Guardian Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran is entrusted with the definition and determination of the framework of what constitutes the “Islamic criteria” or standards. Among the 12 non-elected members of the Guardian Council, only the six male clerics directly appointed by the Supreme Leader are responsible for such task. While the aforementioned provisions supposedly safeguard the human rights of women and protect them from discrimination, such legal guarantees exist as long as they are in conformity with “Islamic criteria.” The room for interpretation allowed under the qualifications often results in provisions that discriminate or have a discriminatory impact on various grounds, including gender. 1 ESCR.2.2.S.1; ESCR.3.S.1; ESCR.2.2.P.2; ESCR.2.2.O.2 2 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, 3 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, 1

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