In Iran, the Ministry of Information and communication technologies is responsible for the national development of ICT in the whole country and Information Technology Council Excellence (ITCE) is responsible for national-level strategic decision-making and IT policies. The Ministry of Commerce is responsible for the development of E-commerce in Iran. Also, The High Council of Data Processing has been vested with the task of classifying and categorizing computer firms.
Relationship between Information and communication technologies and E-commerce
Now, a vast number of Iranian people are using the Internet and the number is growing daily. Seminars, conferences and workshops have been held by the Iranian governmental and non-governmental organisations to promote awareness of the effects of e-commerce. In view of that it could be claimed that Iran is providing the infrastructure to enable e-commerce to expand.
Parliament of Iran passed the Electronic Commerce Act. With the passage of the Act, Iran made significant progress towards its e-commerce legislation. Now, this Act is called the Electronic Commerce Law of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Act was passed to remove concerns about uncertainties over e-commerce and to clarify some of the ambiguities in the Iranian legal system. However, the government has a plan to revise the Act in the next two years.
The Government has long-term plans and programs of development for IT sector as shown in the following section.
National IT Strategy and Development Plan
In the 5th 5-Year National Develop Plan (2009-2014), IT has a major role. The main goals of this plan have included increasing Internet users, telephone subscribers and mobile subscribers. The value of Information and communication technologies in this plan is $25 billion dollars, $19 billion dollars for Telecommunication development and $6 billion dollars for IT platform and its infrastructure. In Iran, national IT strategy comprised the following strategies:
• National ICT development and IT policy strategy document;
• National IT strategy for e-Services such as e-Government, e-Commerce, e-Learning and e-
• Telecom revolution (de-regulation) plan;
• Telecom Liberalization plan;
• Migration from traditional telecom to Next Generation Network (NGN);
• Migration from monopoly to competition in telecom industry;
• Promotion of foreign investment.
The qualitative goals of government have included developing e-enabled national services such as e-commerce, e-learning, e-health, and e-government.
The Iranian Council of Ministers in 2002 approved the Electronic Commerce Policy of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the following purposes:
• To ensure the use of the Internet for electronic commerce activities in the Country in a safe and secure network environment.
• To remove any discriminatory barriers in the use of the electronic Commerce in the country
• To protect the enhancement and promotion of the respective NGO activities in the Country on a competitive basis.
• To enhance awareness and training and to create the cultural environment for the use of the electronic business.
• To provide and maintain the main infrastructures and the necessary legal and operational backgrounds and prerequisites for the implementation of electronic business in the country.