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Iran unveils Islamic dating app to encourage marriage

Iran unveils an Islamic dating application aimed at facilitating “lasting and informed marriage” for its youth, state television reports.

Called Hamdam — Farsi for “companion” — the service allows users to “search for and choose their spouse,” the broadcaster says.

It is the only state-sanctioned platform of its kind in the Islamic Republic, according to Iran’s cyberspace police chief, Colonel Ali Mohammad Rajabi.

While dating apps are popular in Iran, Rajabi says that all other platforms apart from Hamdam are illegal.

Developed by the Tebyan Cultural Institute, part of Iran’s Islamic Propaganda Organization, Hamdam’s website claims it uses “artificial intelligence” to find matches “only for bachelors seeking permanent marriage and a single spouse.”

Tebyan head Komeil Khojasteh, speaking at the unveiling, says family values were threatened by outside forces.

“Family is the devil’s target, and (Iran’s enemies) seek to impose their own ideas” on it, he says, adding that the app helps create “healthy” families.

According to Hamdam’s website, users have to verify their identity and go through a “psychology test” before browsing.

When a match is made, the app “introduces the families together with the presence of service consultants,” who will “accompany” the couple for four years after marriage.

Registration is free, as Hamdam has “an independent revenue model,” the website said without explaining further.

Iran’s authorities, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have warned several times against the country’s rising age of marriage and declining birth rates.

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