Ahmadinejad urges Iranian girls to marry at 16

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 21, 2010 10:29

Islamic Republic's president criticizes average age of marriage of 24 to 26; rejects family planning as Western import.




Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Lebanon

ahmadinejad peace out 311. (photo credit: AP)

TEHERAN, Iran — Iranian newspapers on Sunday reported that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has urged girls to marry at the age of 16.

The president criticized the current average age of marriage of 24 to 26.

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The Sunday report by the state-owned Jam-e Jam quoted Ahmadinejad as saying "we should take the age of marriage for boys to 20 and for girls to about 16 and 17."

Other newspapers quoted the president as putting the best ages for marriage of girls at 17 or 18.

Ahmadinejad has long sought an increase of population, rejecting family planning as a Western import.

Critics say the policy will only exacerbate the current 9 percent official unemployment rate.


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