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Iran Launches State-Sponsored Dating Website With A Predictable Twist

Iran launched a matchmaking website Monday, encouraging marriage and procreation after all too successful campaigns of curbing population growth in the past.

But, it’s “not a website for introducing boys and girls to each other,” Iran’s Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mahmoud Golzari said during a ceremony launching the site.

Singles upload their biographical information to Hamsan.Tebyan.net, and then a board of moderators match them according to age and socioeconomic factors, reports The Associated Press.

Officials say the country is teeming with 11 million bachelors in a population of 80 million. “This is a significant issue for the ruling system,” said  Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mahmoud Golzari, according to the AP.

Iran banned “surgical, permanent forms of birth control” last year, a flip from policies stemming from the 1980s, when leaders believed Iran wouldn’t be able to sustain such a rapid birth rate.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized Iran’s previous birth control policies as “an imitation of western lifestyle” in 2013, calling for the country to double its population, according to The Guardian.

Young Iranians are oftentimes opting for long-term dating relationships rather than traditional marriage, partly fueled by the high cost of weddings amid the country’s economic woes.

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