Ayatollah Khamenei urges Iranians to 'have more babies'

   Jul 30, 11:02 am

Tehran, July 30 (ANI): Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged his country's citizens 'to have more children'.

Iranian authorities are now slashing its birth-control programs in an attempt to avoid an aging demographic similar to many Western countries that are struggling to keep up with state medical and social security costs.

The changes, announced in Iranian media last week, came after Khamenei described the country's wide-ranging contraceptive services as 'wrong,' News24 reports.

According to the report, Khamenei said contraceptive policy made sense 20 years ago, 'but its continuation in later years was wrong.'

"Scientific and experts studies show that we will face population aging and reduction [in population] if the birth-control policy continues," the report quoted Khamenei, as saying.

His remarks came a day after the Statistical Center of Iran said the country's population had reached more than 75.1 million, more than double its 33.7 million in 1976.

According to the report, Iran's economy is stumbling under a combination of international sanctions, inflation and double-digit unemployment.

Many young people, particularly in Tehran and other large cities, are postponing marriage or keeping their families small because of the uncertainties.

Meanwhile, some experts said that trying to boost the numbers for upcoming generations also could feed future political dissent.

"Young people are the heart of the Arab Spring, or the Islamic Awakening as Iran calls it," the report quoted Mustafa Alani, an analyst at the Gulf Research Centre based in Geneva, as saying.

"Countries that haven't faced major protests during the Arab Spring still have to be mindful that the demands of the youth are still there," Alani added. (ANI)

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