Iran launches state-approved Islamic dating app
Iran has unveiled a state-sanctioned Islamic dating app aimed at facilitating “lasting and informed marriage” for its youth, state television reported.
Called Hamdam – Farsi for “companion” – the service allows users to “search for and choose their spouse”, the broadcaster said on Monday.
The app is developed by the Tebyan Cultural Institute which is run by an organisation that answers to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Hamdam’s website claims it uses “artificial intelligence” to find matches “only for bachelors seeking permanent marriage and a single spouse”.
According to Hamdam’s website, users have to verify their identity and go through a “psychology test” before browsing.
When a match is made, the app “introduces the families together with the presence of service consultants”, who will “accompany” the couple for four years after marriage.
Registration is free because Hamdam has “an independent revenue model”, the website said without explaining further.
Iran’s authorities, including its Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have warned several times against the country’s rising age of marriage and declining birth rates.
In 2020, birth rates in the country fell to a 100-year low, leading to Iran’s parliament deciding to pass a bill in March 2021 to encourage childbirth and marriage.
It mandates the government to offer significant financial incentives for marriage and to encourage people to have more than two children while limiting access to abortion.
It includes provisions of loans to young married couples as well as first-time homeowners with children.
Currently, foreign dating apps such as Tinder are not allowed in the Islamic Republic.
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