Controversy around "temporary marriages" in Iran
Controversy continues in Iran around legally-recognized Shi'ite marriage arrangements that permit a man and woman to marry for as little as one hour. As recently as last week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brought a law regulating such temporary marriages to the parliament where some of it was ultimately rejected. Human rights and women's groups have opposed parts of the regulation that, according to Haaretz Daily Newspaper, is "intended to help men and make it possible for them to marry another woman without the permission of their first wife, the tax that would be imposed on the dowry the woman would receive, and the registration of temporary marriages." From Haaretz:
The (temporary marriage) arrangement (has even been) significantly promoted as "a means to help women who have difficulty getting married for various reasons," as the former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, explained. The various reasons can include the fact that a woman is divorced, that she is unable to give birth, or that she has committed some transgression that makes it difficult for her to find a husband."Iran's women defeat Ahmadinejad's 'legal prostitution' bill" (Thanks, Mark Pescovitz!)
For some of the women who are forced to get married under an arrangement of this kind, as well as for young couples that are not officially married but require legal coverage to spend time together, this is the only arrangement that exists.
It is also convenient for thousands of students who go to the holy cities of Iran and want to have "legal" sex during their studies and before getting "actually" married.
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