Iran to establish ”Love Fund”
Iran's vice-president Farhad Rahbar recently announced that his country will invest $1.3 billion to establish a "love fund" to encourage poor young people to marry.
The "Reza Love Fund", named after one of Shiite Islam's imams, was established in response to continued complaints on the part of Iran's youth, who say that they cannot afford to get married.
Statistics show that young Iranian adults are living with their parents longer than ever before, while jobs, marriage and housing are seen as the top frustrations of young Iranians.
Financial hardships of Iran's youth are contrasted with the fact that Iran is the fourth largest crude oil producer in the world. The new fund would redistribute oil revenue for the "Love Fund".
"The love fund is a realization of the new government's slogan -- taking oil money to the tables of the people," said Rahbar. "The fund will resolve problems among the youth such as employment, marriage and housing," he added, according to IRNA.
Currently Iran's Islamic law sets the minimum marriage age for girls at nine and 15 for boys. Teenage marriages are still the norm in traditional rural areas of the country where housing is less of an issue. However, costly housing is pushing up the national average marital age, currently around 25 for women and 28 for men.
Populist conservatives have long advocated using the oil fund for social spending The "love fund" bill will be the first piece of legislation submitted to parliament by the new president's government.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a populist conservative, won a sweeping victory in June after promising to distribute the nation's oil earnings more fairly.