President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants girls to get married at the age of 16 newspapers reported on Sunday.
According to the Associated Press (AP), Ahmadinejad urged young girls to marry at 16 in his "lastest rejection" of Iran's family planning program. He criticized the program as "ungodly" and a Western ideal.
Monsters and Critics reported that although the average age for boys and girls to get married in Iran is 26 and 24 respectively, he thinks it should change to 20 and 16.
The AP said after Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005, he has been working to increase the country's population, which is currently at 75 million, and a third of that are between 15 and 30 years old.
Monsters and Critics said that experts think the age is not a problem in when one should marry, but that high unemployment amongst that young age group is because they make up 70 percent of Iran's population. High real estate prices and rent is unaffordable too for young people.
The AP reported in July Ahmadinejad set in a place a policy to stimulate the population with financial incentives for every new child that was born. However, critics of his policy say that this will only further unemployment.
Monsters and Critics also adds that due to social restrictions, with men and women being completely seperated from eachother, it is hard for them to meet and get to know one another. Currently, the "resulting problems" have led to increasing divorce rates.