A group of Iranian conscripts

Iran To Shorten Mandatory Military Service To 14 Months

Sunday, 03/17/2024

The Guardian Council of Iran has officially endorsed a plan to reduce the mandatory military service period to 14 months from the current timespan of 17 to 24 months.

Hadi Tahan Nazif, the spokesperson for the council, announced the decision on Saturday. The Guardian Council is a 12-member body which checks if the legislations passed by the parliament are not against the country’s Constitution and the Islamic laws.

"With the amendments made by the parliament and in compliance with Article 4 of the Public Service Duty Law and within the framework of the measures of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, it (reducing the mandatory military service) was not considered contrary to the criteria of Sharia and the Constitution," he said.

Mohsen Dehnavi, a member of the parliament's presiding board, said in February that, "The average military service, including the training period, will be reduced to 14 months, meaning a minimum of three months reduction in the service of all soldiers."

Under the plan, individuals over the age of 35 with two or more children are exempt from compulsory military service, offering relief to a specific demographic.

Military service in Iran is obligatory for all Iranian men over 18 years old, except for certain exemptions outlined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The mandatory 21 to 24-month service has faced criticism due to the physical and psychological pressures on soldiers, sometimes leading to outcomes such as suicide or violent acts.

Recent reports of such incidents have further underscored the concerns. Last month, the prosecutor of Bam in Kerman province confirmed the death of a conscript due to self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Similarly, Iranian media reported on January 22 that a soldier stationed in a garrison in Kerman had killed five fellow soldiers before fleeing.

The decision to approve the reduction of the service, which had been sidelined for at least four years, follows recent reforms in conscript payments.

In November, Iran introduced a new salary structure for its soldiers, who can now receive variable monthly salaries ranging from $60 to a maximum of $180. The current minimum wage in Iran is around $150 a month with the average income between $150-250.

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