It is believed that the economic downturn caused in part by international sanctions has made the cost of marriage prohibitive for many Iranians.
Abbas is grinning, and I can’t help feel proud of myself.
I’ve know him for a while now, but his resourcefulness in picking up girls still surprises me. Premarital sex and adultery are considered serious offences.
Walking in public with a member of the opposite sex (that is not a relative) is also a crime but rarely enforced in major cities.
Luckily for them, most Iranians don’t agree with these laws and since most people Iran are under 26 (contraceptives were forbidden in the first years following the revolution), they grew up learning how to avoid detection, how to speak obliquely, and, when the shit hits the fan, how to bribe officials.
The Iranian government has launched an official dating website, amid fears that birth rates could fall.
The launch of the website comes with official figures showing more than 11 million young Iranians are single in the conservative Islamic state. (Find Your Equal) allows singles to post their details, and describe what they are looking for in a potential spouse.
A board of mediators will then match applicants, taking into account criteria such as background, age, education and wealth."We have high demand for marriage and 11 million bachelors who are increasing every day," Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mahmoud Golzari said at a ceremony launching the site, reports AP. "The matchmaking website you are seeing today is not a website for introducing boys and girls to each other," he said.
About 22% of marriages in Iran end in divorce, with rates highest among those under 30.
Earlier this year, Golzari said he hoped the policy would create "100,000 marriages" and thus "solve the problem of marriage amongst young people".
Run by the Islamic Development Organisation, which promotes conservative Islamic values, the website does not allow users to upload pictures or view the profiles of potential matches, with all matchmaking done by officials.
Under Iran's strict interpretation of Sharia law, sex outside marriage is illegal, however hundreds of dating websites have sprung up, including sites offering temporary marriages known as sigheh, reports the BBC.
The government has recently launched a series of initiatives designed to boost the country's birthrate, including scrapping the provision of free contraceptives, and providing financial imperatives to encourage people to marry.