Political crimes have been regarded throughout the history as any offences against the structure of power, whether political or ideological, in a given society. Despite the significance effects of these criminal acts on the order system, they are rarely examined by law scholars; though some recognize the fact that understanding these types of crime is fundamental to comprehending one of the main features of a criminal justice system that attempts to define what is criminal act, what are elements of criminal act and who are criminals. In earlier times, under the early penal laws, political crimes (as the oldest of all crime-types) were treated more severely than the ordinary crimes as the crimes targeting the basis of the government; nevertheless, gradually the approach toward political crimes changed.
Within the present paper, the author will examine the ambiguity surrounding the definition of political crime in the introductory section, also the criteria to define a comprehensive definition. Then, it provides an all-inclusive but brief analysis of the background of political crime in Iran legal system, with an emphasis on the most striking features of Iran’s Penal Code as adopted in 2016.