Iran launches Hamdan dating app to address falling birth rates, rising divorce rates

The nation's family values are being attacked by the devil, says the developer.
The nation's family values are being attacked by the devil, says the developer. Photo credit: Getty Images

Iran has launched a state-approved dating app to address falling birth rates and rising divorce rates in the Islamic republic.

Hamdan, which means "companion" in Farsi, was developed by the Tebyan Cultural Institute, part of the Islamic Propaganda Organisation.

The government-linked agency says it will use "smart artificial intelligence technology" to find matches for bachelors who want permanent marriage to a single spouse.

Anyone wanting to use the app will have to undergo a psychological assessment as well as verifying their identity with government ID.

If they meet someone and get married, users will also have to agree to a "service consultant" being assigned to them. That counsellor will check in with the couple over the first four years of the marriage, reports Business Insider.

Iranian law currently criminalises any sexual relationships outside of a marriage between a man and woman.

In 2008 there was one divorce for every eight marriages, but between March and December last year that had increased to nearly one in three, reports the BBC.

Other dating apps are currently available in the country, but Iran's cyberspace police chief Colonel Ali Mohammad Rajabi says all other platforms are illegal.

Tebyan boss Komeil Khojasteh says Iran's family values were being threatened by outside forces.

"Family is the devil’s target, and [Iran’s enemies] seek to impose their own ideas," he said.

Earlier this year Iran’s parliament passed a bill titled "population growth and supporting families" in order to address the birth rates. 

It requires the government to offer financial incentives for marriage and for couples to have more than two children. Contraceptives are also now only available to women whose health may otherwise be at risk.

The bill is currently awaiting approval by the Guardian Council, which checks all bills are compatible with Islamic law.