Iran's proposed new constitution provides for a council of Moslem religious leaders to review laws passed by a unicameral legislature, according to a text published in a local newspaper today.
The newspaper Kayhan said the draft it had obtained contained all but eight of the proposed constitution's 168 points. It would provide for both a president and a prime minister in a system similar to the French government.
The new constitution represents the dream of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of instutionalizing a permanent "Islamic Republic." According to Khomeini and his supporters, the document will guarantee freedoms that were denied to Iranians under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlvai.
The eventual ratification of the draft constitution by a constituent asembly would also mark a key transition from the present provisional revolutionary government, which is dominated by Kohomeini's Islamic committees.
The activities of the committees, have aroused fear among many Iranians that a new Islamic dictatorship would replace the shah's. Under a permanent elected government, the committees are to be abolished although it is far from certain that their influence would disappear.
A legal expert involved in drafting the costitution said much of the material published in the newspaper was "not authentic." He conceded, however, that some of the articles were accurate. He said he had no idea who was responsible for issuing the version published in Kayhan.
The new constitution has become a subject of keen curiosity here. A draft was supposed to have been published weeks ago, but this has been delayed by wrangling over new provisions, notably articles go (Word Illegible) minority groups.
The legal experts, a member of a five-man committee drawing up the draft, said the newspaper version was substantially correct on the provisions covering basic freedom and human rights. He repudiated its articles providing for the nationalization of bank and insurance companies, those giving the state broad powers to take over heavy industries and agricultural enterprises and provisions on property and ownership.
He would not comment on the articles covering government bodies and procedures.
Other sources have confirmed, however, that according to the latest draft, the Islamic Republic will have a single house of parliament, and a president -- both elected -- plus a prime minister and a Cabinet. The president would name the prime minister.
According to the version reported by Kayhan, the legislative body, called the Majlis, cannot pass any laws that violate the constitution of the Shiite sect of Islam, the religion of 95 percent of Iran's 35 million population.
A body empowered to rule on the Islamic acceptability of laws is to be called "the council of the guardian" and consists of clergy chosen by religious leaders, Kayhan said.
A key clause in the newspaper's version says that in the event of a dispute between the Majlis and the council, the case is to be referred for arbitration to "the religious leaders or leader of the time."
There is nothing so far to indicate any specific procedure for determining which religious leader or leaders would be responsible for such final judgment.
Most of the basic freedoms listed in Kayhan's draft carry stipulations making them conform to Islamic tenets which are not spelled out. For example, citizens are free to form political parties, provided the organizations "respect freedom, independence, national sovereignty and the principles of the Islamic Republic."
Likewise, equal rights for men and women in the new Iran is put in a context of "Islamic religious law," which tends to favor men.
The press is free, Kayhan says, "except in cases where it violates public decency or Islamic morals or insults people and spreads lies."
Other articles outlaw "subversive literature," but at the same time prohibit censorship, telephone tapping, mail tampering or any kind of torutre. Trade unions and demonstrations are abowed, and martial law is banned in any form.
In the 88 articles -- nearly half the total -- printed in today's Kayhan, there was no mention of any formula for regional autonomy. Minority groups such as Kurds, Arabs and Turkomans have demanded written guarantees of autonomy that generally go beyond what the central government has been willing to grant.
Several clashes in the troubled regions have raised the risk of large-scale fighting unless the demands are met.