The Islamic Republic of Iran has boldly gone where no Islamic Republic has gone before. Today, the country launched a matchmaking website that urges marriage and procreation.
Match.com and all the other dating sites can rest easy. Hamsan.tebyan.net, as this latest competitor is known, is “not a website for introducing boys and girls to each other,” Iran’s Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mahmoud Golzari explained during an inaugural ceremony. Instead, the Associated Press notes, singles upload their biographical information, and then a board of stated-appointed moderators find them suitable mates based on their age and socioeconomic factors.
The country, officials say, is overrun with eligible bachelors, which comprise about 14% of the population.”This is a significant issue for the ruling system,” Golzari notes.
Iran, which at one time sought to rigorously curb population growth, banned vasectomies and other “surgical, permanent forms of birth control” last year, maintaining that it wants more babies. According to the Guardian, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called for the country to double its population, deriding earlier birth control measures as “an imitation of western lifestyle.”
The new policy will require an adjustment among young Iranians, who often prefer long-term dating relationships to traditional marriage, partly because of the high cost of weddings amid the country’s economic woes.
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