Twenty years ago, Iran introduced a birth-control policy that provided citizens with access to contraceptives and family planning sessions for newly-weds.
But all that has changed.
In an effort to boost the country’s population, 150,000 Iranian health officers have been deployed in a house-to-house mission to urge couples to have more children, reported The Telegraph.
They are promoting the benefits of marriage and urge single-child couples to expand their families, as part of an effort to double Iran’s population, which currently stands at 75 million.
In an interview with the UK newspaper, Mohammad Ismail Motlagh, general manager of the health ministry’s family, school health and population program explained that the program’s main objective is to encourage couples to avoid producing single-child families.
This is leading to “social and emotional problems,” he said.
“In the marriage training course, we have focused more on the child-producing because the single-child issue has caused so many problems and provoked much debate,” he added in an interview with Fars news agency.
He also suggested that mothers should reduce pregnancy gaps to two years and that if pregnancy gaps exceed two years, “couples should revise their methods and make plans in this regard.”
The country’s family planning initiative was first introduced in 1979 after a population increase in the wake of the Islamic revolution.
In 2012, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, ordered the abolition of a 15 billion dollar plan aimed to budget family planning in the country. He called for the country’s population to rise and double to 150 million.
Universities in Iran that have medical faculties have also been asked to assist with this initiative by introducing courses on population increase. According to the report, these courses will be closely monitored by health ministry officials.