After years of debate within the political establishment, Iranian women married to foreigners are to be allowed to pass on nationality to their offspring, Iranian media reported on Wednesday.
The Islamic republic's powerful Guardian Council, a supervisory body that has veto power over parliamentary laws, approved the measure which will mostly affect women married to Afghans, granting their children social rights, the council’s spokesman announced.
The proposal took ten years to debate and finally to agree on, during three presidential terms and three parliaments.
The council, which vets legislation to ensure compliance with Iran's constitution and Islamic sharia law, had rejected two previous texts of the bill. It demanded language that would assure national security.
Finally parliament agreed that nationality will not be granted automatically and will depend in each case on the approval of the Revolutionary Guards fearsome Intelligence Organization.
The new law says people born in Iran with one parent being an Iranian citizen can apply for citizenship when they reach the age of 18. Previously only children of Iranian fathers could apply.
Some three million Afghans live in Iran, many of whom have married Iranian women.