He wants the population to grow to at least 150 million – and in a in a traditional country like Iran, that means increasing the marriage rate first.
In May 2014, Ayatollah Khamenei issued an edict ordering the government to decrease the marriage age, increase the fertility rate, and evict the obstacles to marriage.
Minutes slipped into hours and, before I knew it, the sun had set and it was getting late.
I had yet to see anybody drinking or smoking and, so far, the only girls I had seen had been hidden deep within the endless black folds of heavy chadors. I messaged her with the best chat up line I could think of. We sat in a cafe, her blue hair peeking out from beneath her green hijab; a compulsory garment for all women in Iran.
I expected to have to keep my head down, and to abstain from sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. So I turned to Tinder, curious to see if any local girls would be online. Esme told me of her adventures backpacking in the Philippines, of her career as a vet, of her hopes that a softening of laws and attitudes is coming to Iran.
“For Iranian men of my generation and American moms of my mother-in-law’s generation, this is a film that has seared itself into our consciousness,” says Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American author and religious scholar.
Upon the film’s 25th anniversary, it’s an interesting case-study of how early misrepresentations of an ethnicity in popular culture — one that the American public previously had no concept of — never really leave them.