Skip to main content

Iranian MPs move to grant citizenship to children of foreign fathers

Iranian lawmakers passed a bill that would grant citizenship to children in Iran born to Iranian mothers and foreign fathers. If approved by the Guardian Council, the bill would put an end to years of discrimination against women in the country’s nationality law.
A view shows the swearing-in ceremony for Iranian president Hassan Rouhani for a further term, at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, August 5, 2017. Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/TIMA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC18FF0579A0

Javad is a 30-year-old architect and photographer in Iran. Born to an Iranian mother and an Afghan father in Iran, he has not yet been granted Iranian citizenship due to the country’s nationality law, which only gives children of Iranian fathers automatic citizenship.

As a result, Javad has faced plenty of hurdles and has been deprived of many services, including four years of primary school, insurance and a driver's license. He also faces the annual extension of his father’s legal residence in Iran. Hundreds of thousands of children in Iran find themselves in a similar situation. It's mainly seen in the eastern regions of the country, where the population of Afghan refugees is the greatest.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.