The Iranian authorities today officially launched an online dating app aimed at young people, which aims to facilitate "stable marriages, with an understanding of purpose", state television reported.
The new service, called "Hamdam" ("partner" in Persian) allows users to "search for and find their spouse". It is the only approved dating platform in Iran, the television added, citing Col. Ali Mohammad Rajabi, the head of the cyber policing service.
Some dating apps, such as the US network Tinder, are popular in Iran, but Rajabi, without naming them, said that all but "Hamdam" are illegal.
The website, which belongs to the powerful Islamic Propaganda Organization, states that it uses artificial intelligence and mates "exclusively to bachelors looking for a solid marriage and a single partner."
"The family is the target of the devil's attacks and (Iran's enemies) seek to impose" their own version of the family, "said one of the founders of Hamdamn, an application he says helps" healthy "families.
The application verifies the identity of the user, who will have to pass a "psychological test" in order to then gain access to ads and photos of users of the opposite sex. In the event that "compatibility" is found between two profiles, the site "brings families together" with the cooperation of counselors.
Registration is free.
Iranian authorities, most notably Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, have repeatedly warned of declining birth rates and increasing the age at which Iranians marry. In March, the Conservative-controlled parliament passed a law "in support of the family", according to which the government should provide allowances that will strengthen the interest of young people in marriage, to promote, in the state media the image of a family with more than two children and restrict access to abortion. This law must be ratified by the Council of Guards of the Revolution, which is responsible for examining whether the bills are in accordance with Sharia and the Constitution.