Iran's interior minister backs temporary marriage

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Iran's interior minister Hojatoll-Islam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi has made a bold move by backing temporary marriages in accordance with some schools of thought in Islam particularly among Shiites.

Prostitution was banned in Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and any sort of sex outside of marriage even among consenting adults of opposite gender is a punishable under the law. Nevertheless, illegal prostitution persists in Iran; some prostitutes have also become drug addicts and homeless.

One taxi driver who spoke to the Associated Press said he doesn't have enough money to get married and set up a home. "What should I do with my sexual needs?" he asked.

Iran's chair of the Expediency Council, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, made the proposal for temporary marriage while he was the president; however, it was rejected by other clerics and did not gain momentum. It was proposed as an alternative to living in sin. Many couples constantly fear arrest by the moral police in Iran and some might have a temporary marriage.

Hojjat ul Islam Pour-Mohammadi has said,

We should expect violations and repercussions if we do not practically respond to young people's sexual needs. Islam has solutions for all human problems and temporary marriage is a solution to this kind of problem.

Pour-Mohammadi, who hails from Qom and has completed clerical studies, urged seminarians to study the matter carefully.