Iran’s divorce rate rising

Updated 23 April 2014

Iran’s divorce rate rising

TEHRAN: More than one in five marriages in Iran ended in divorce last year — despite the government’s push for more couples to wed and have children to reverse slowing population growth.
The annual figures published Tuesday also showed fewer people were getting married and the statistics coincide with rising concern about family breakdown in the Islamic republic.
The country’s Registration Office, which records the number of new marriages as well as those that have split, said the divorce rate continued to edge up in the year ending March 2014.
“Some 158,753 couples filed for divorce in the last Iranian calendar year, increasing by 4.6 percent from 2013,” Ahmad Toysarkani, head of the office, told the official IRNA news agency.
With 757,197 couples tying the knot in the same period, the marriage rate fell by 4.4 percent.
Iran’s divorce rate has jumped from 12 percent to 21 percent since 2007. Tuesday’s figures also showed that one in three marriages in the capital end in divorce.
Toysarkani blamed the sharp rise in divorce on family interference — including non-respect for the financial terms governing a marriage — poverty, drugs and domestic violence.
Iran’s population growth plummeted to only 1.29 percent in the past 12 months, the lowest in the region. “The rate could fall to zero in the next 30 years,” Mohammad Nazemi Ardakani, an official at the national birth registry, said recently.
In measures aimed at addressing an ageing population, Iran’s parliament is discussing a bill that would ban vasectomies and tighten the nation’s abortion laws.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has urged the government to take measures to increase the current population of 77 million to 150 million within 50 years.


Jordan's increase in coronavirus cases 'worrying', government says

Updated 33 min 56 sec ago

Jordan's increase in coronavirus cases 'worrying', government says

CAIRO: Jordan’s increase in coronavirus cases is “worrying,” however the situation remains under control, the Kingdom’s government said Thursday.
Minister of State for Media affairs Amjad Al-Adaileh called on Jordanians to avoid gatherings of more than 20 people.
He specifically addressed parents of high school students, who are waiting for exam results next Saturday, the state news agency PETRA reported.
Al-Adaileh said those who violate instructions on gatherings in a step to avoid the spread of the virus.
“Do not let your celebrations over school results turn into a setback on the epidemic level,” he said. 
Al-Adaileh said Jordanians are capable in two weeks, if they adhere to social distancing regulations, of restoring control over the spread of the disease and return local infection rates back to low levels. 
Jordan has overall seen a drop in COVID-19 cases, with new infections recorded mainly among travelers arriving from abroad.
However, the Kingdom registered 25 cases of COVID-19 in the past two days, mostly at the Jaber crossing with Syria. This prompted Jordan to close its border with Syria for a week starting Thursday. 
Al-Adaileh said no decision has been made yet on reimposing a curfew. He added that no Jordan official wishes to return to the lockdown, which had an serious impact on the country economically, socially and emotionally.