Ever dreamed of having government officials select a spouse for you based on a background review? Iran’s government is making the idea a reality with their own matchmaking site. Officials were quick to clarify that the site is only for establishing traditional marriages.
After years of successful policies to limit population growth, Iran has been left with masses of unmarried singles and a glut of retiring elders who threaten to overwhelm the government’s social services. According to the Huffington Post, the situation has prompted a unique solution — online matchmaking.
Mahmoud Golzari, Deputy Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, announced the site’s launch.
“We have high demand for marriage and 11 million bachelors who are increasing every day. This is a significant issue for the ruling system.”
The site is Hamsan.Tebyan.net, and it works like most matchmaking services. Yahoo News reports that people can use it to create a profile and explain what they’re looking for in a potential mate. Then a group of government mediators reviews factors like family background, wealth, education, and age to make a successful match.
Still, those just looking for a date should steer clear of the site, according to Golzari.
“The matchmaking website you are seeing today is not a website for introducing boys and girls to each other.”
Instead, it’s for traditional marriage only, which is losing ground to informal relationships and long-term dating, angering Iran’s clerics. Golzari hopes the matchmaking site becomes a model for the entire Muslim world.
Nevertheless, it has plenty of competition, even within Iran. The country already has 350 private online dating services, sites not so dedicated to government goals. The websites are rapidly taking the place of local traditional matchmakers and families who used to arrange marriages.
Money is another obstacle to marriage.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the U.S. has been gradually tightening sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, contributing to an economic downturn. As a result, more couples can no longer afford the expenses of a traditional Iranian marriage.
Newlywed Amin Rafiei complained, “Our parents forced us to provide dinner, fruit, candy and beverages for 250 guests at the wedding party. It was horrible.”
In addition, the family had to pay for lavish gold jewelry for the bride and rent out a $2,000 wedding hall.
The government is doing more than just a matchmaking site to spur a new generation of baby-making married couples, such as taking away free contraceptives and vasectomies. Policymakers are also considering low-interest loans for newlyweds, and even cash for parents.
Iran’s most 21st-century solution is its matchmaking site, but whether or not it succeeds will depend on economics and society.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]