The 290 members of the Majlis, or parliament, are elected by popular vote every four years. The parliament has the power to introduce and pass laws, as well as to summon and impeach ministers or the president.
However, all Majlis bills have to be approved by the conservative Guardian Council.
The first reformist majority was elected in 2000, but this was overturned four years later in elections in 2004. Many reformist candidates were banned from standing.
In May 2004 the newly-elected conservatives nominated academic Gholamali Haddad-Adel as their speaker. He is the first parliamentary speaker who is not a cleric, although as his daughter is married to one of Ayatollah Khamenei's sons, he has a personal connection to the Supreme Leader.
Gholamali Haddad-Adel is the first non-clerical speaker