Iran's reform-majority parliament on Sunday passed a bill that would require court approval for boys under 18 or girls under 15 to get married, state television reported.
Several clerics in the conservative minority argued against the measure, saying that Islamic sharia law, which sets the minimum marriage age at 14 for boys and nine for girls, should apply.
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, the age of majority for both sexes has been 16 but those underage have been able to marry with just the permission of their parents.
Sunday's bill was approved on first reading in August and still needs final approval by the conservative-led Guardians Council, which has final say on all laws passed by parliament.
In recent years Iranian authorities have promoted marriage to prevent "social corruption" but have also approved provisional marriages or "siqeh," which are recognized by Shiite Islam.
Provisional marriages, a common practice among the less well-to-do, allow men --either married or single -- to have relations with women for a predetermined period of time which can be renewed – TEHRAN (AFP)
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