Iranian suitors take online marriage course

Now potential suitors face the prospect of having to fulfil a daunting new requirement before asking for a bride’s hand — having the right government certificate.

Acquiring the appropriate official qualifications before popping the question is part of a plan for prenuptial training courses approved by the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with the aim of reversing declining Iranian marriage rates and rising divorce statistics.
Online courses will soon be offered to young people to prepare them for the pitfalls of married life. The three-month courses, involving weekly tests, will be run by the state-governed national youth organisation, and those who successfully complete them will receive a certificate as proof of their readiness for matrimony. Mohsen Zanganeh, the head of the national youth organisation for Tehran province, said the courses would provide young people with an understanding of the “alphabet of life” and were intended as an essential gateway to marriage.

“We intend that within the next two years, if a boy attempts to woo a girl, she will answer only if he has finished his course,” he told the Fars news agency. “We are trying to increase the level of information among young people concerning marriage.”
Zangeneh said the course would run along similar lines to a universityand have a panel of 40 experts serving as its scientific board. The idea has been partly prompted by the rising divorce rate.

Iranian decision-makers are also alarmed at a rise in the average marrying age, which scientists say is leading to an increase in premarital sex and abortions arising from unwanted pregnancies.

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