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The number of births per woman of child-bearing age has fallen from 7 in 1980 to 1.8 in 2014 - below Britain's fertility rate, for example, of 1.9.
It’s online dating as you’ve never seen it before – no profile photos, matches are chosen for you, and parents must also go on the first date, but is Iran’s government-controlled dating service fighting a losing battle against Western desires?A psychologist delivers a stern warning about the dangers of Western romantic habits: “In emotional or romantic relationships in the US, 93 per cent ultimately lead to divorce.” “Loving at first look or sight is, I emphasise, very dangerous,” he tells me.Apparently Iran is facing a marriage crisis so authorities have decided to step in and play cupid.Joining me is Ali Jafari, our official translator approved by the Ministry of Culture.Mohammad Kamand is preparing a young man for marriage at Tebyan, a government-approved website where arranged unions are strongly favoured over love matches. Profile pictures are forbidden and parents must accompany would-be couples on their first dates.
The aim of this website is to use Islamic principles to get single young people together.
Dating websites like Tinder are banned in Iran, but about 350 unofficial dating websites are believed to exist. It relies on traditional matchmakers like Malakeh Mogadam, who has converted her home into a lonely hearts call centre.
There, an army of matchmakers in her front room answer phones that never stop ringing - mainly mothers across Tehran calling on behalf of their single sons.
There Ali Sabor, a professor of Islamic teaching, tells students: “Sexual desire must be controlled.
The best way to fulfil your sexual needs is marriage.” Despite the disapproval of the authorities, more and more young Iranian couples are living together outside of marriage.
Young Iranians are disrupting the matchmaking equation.