Iran has launched its first official matchmaking website, with officials insisting it is not a dating service but rather an effort to encourage millions of singles to marry.
Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mahmud Golzari said in a ceremony launching the site, "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 website, Hamsan.Tebyan.net, provides a platform for singles to post their profiles and specify what they are looking for in a potential spouse.
A board of mediators matches applicants after reviewing their age, education, wealth, and family background.
Golzari insisted the website is not for dating.
"The matchmaking website you are seeing today is not a website for introducing boys and girls to each other," he said.
cartoon by Ahmad Abdollahinia, Ghanoon daily
With a population of 80 million, Iran has begun encouraging young people to marry and have more children.
The government fears that an aging population could one day overwhelm its social programs.
Based on reporting by AP and BBC
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