By: Mir M.Hosseini
The cabinet of Dr. Hakimi presented the bill for formation of the Senate to Majlis on May, 9, 1948. The idea of such a legislative entity first surfaced during the Constitutional Monarchy Movement but many Iranians saw it as some kind of a House of Lords that would be the voice of the few elite rather than public. Therefore it was off the agenda until the epic fall of Reza Shah after occupation of Iran by Allied Powers.
On Feb, 9, 1950 the Senate convened for the first time at the Parliament building right on the same date that Majlis 16th term began. Half of the 60 members of the Senate were appointed by the Shah and the remaining 30 were elected by people. %50 of Senate members were from Tehran. Ebrahim Hakimi was the Senate Speaker. Mohammad Reza Shah presided the first session, satisfied to have a legislative body on top of the Majlis. He could not guess that things would change during Nationalization of Oil industry.
In 1952, Dr. Mosaddegh leaded the Nationalization of Oil Movement which was a blow to British hegemony on Iranian national reserves. The Senate was against his policies; therefore Majlis prevented Senate members from entering the Parliament and it was practically dissolved.
After the coup of 1953 planned by MI6 and CIA, the Senate was revived.
The second term started on March 18, 1954. The Senate moved to Alireza Pahlavi's Palace in March 1955 while the project of a new building started. Designed by the Architect Mr. Heydar Ghiayi , the construction was led by Mr. Rahmat Safayi, a technically challenging project to quench strange imperial ambitions. Hasan Taghizadeh was Senate Speaker from March 1957 to September 1960 from Liberal Party. Senate second term ended on March 16, 1960.
Senate third term began on Norooz (March, 21st) of 1960 and it was dissolved by Shah's order on Dec, 3, 1961.
After two years, the Senate 4th term started on Oct, 7, 1963 after the White Revolution reforms that opened the way for female representation both at the Parliament and at Senate. The 4th term ended and the 5th term started on Oct, 6, 1967. Mohsen Sadr was Senate Speaker until September, 11 1964 from the Socialist Party.
The Senate 5th term ended and the 6th term started on Aug, 31, 1971. Jafar Sharifemami was Senate Speaker from September, 11 1964 to 24 March 1978 from the Rastakhiz Party. Mohammad Sajjadi was Senate Speaker from March, 24 1978 to February, 10 1979 from the National Front Party.
The Senate 7th term started on Sep, 8, 1978.
After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, both Majlis and Senate were dissolved. By new constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, legislation became unicameral, the Senate was dissolved and the new Majlis convened in the Senate building.
Today, the old Senate building is used by elite clerics; members of the Assembly of Experts of the Leadership