Tuesday, October 24, 2006

more babies for Iran!!!! looooooool

Iranians told to beat West by making more babies
By Michael Theodoulou of The Times

Iranians were today instructed to produce more babies as part of their nation's struggle against the West. The Islamic state's hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said he wanted the country's 70 million strong population to almost double in an effort to ensure the country's "dominance". Iran, named by President Bush as one of the three "Axis of Evil" powers and subject to intense pressure over its alleged nuclear weapons programme, has previously been held up by the United Nations as an example of how to control a burgeoning population. Yet today Mr Ahmadinejad told a meeting of government ministers and deputies that Iran could use its oil wealth to expand its population by another 50 million. Mr Ahmadinejad, a father of three, said that he wanted to overturn the current policy that discourages Iranian couples from having more than two children. He said: "Western countries have problems, and since they have a negative population growth, they are worried and scared that if our population grows we may dominate them." He added: "I am against saying that two children are enough. Our country has a lot of capacity. It has the capacity for many children to grow in it. Iran even has the capacity for 120 million people."

The president also suggested that he was ready to decrease the working hours of married women or women with children to make it easier for them to have more children. He said he was not against women working but believes they can work part-time while being paid full-time to allow them to spend more time with their children.

His appeal for a baby boom has alarmed critics who say the country would not be able to cope. Despite Iran’s oil wealth, many ordinary people need several jobs to make ends meet. Inflation officially stands at 10 per cent but is thought to be twice that high while unemployment, officially around 12 per cent, is probably twice as high among young people. The reformist newspaper Etemad-e-Melli said that his remarks were "ill-considered". It added: "He stresses the necessity of population growth and the triumph of Iran over western governments, ignoring the fact that what leads to such triumph is not population size but knowledge, technology, wealth, welfare and security." One Iranian businessman said: "This guy (Ahmadinejad) says a lot of things without thinking them through." An economist added that Mr Ahmadinejad’s call was a publicity-seeking gimmick to distract attention from the government’s economic failures. Birth rates surged after the 1979 Islamic Revolution when, during the devastating eight year war with Iraq, the religious authorities encouraged Iranians to have more babies. By 1986 the population had soared in a decade by 17 million to 50 million. The birth rate stood at 3.2 per cent, among the highest in the world.But when the bloodshed with Iraq ended in 1988 and the economy dived, Iran’s ruling clerics realised they would have huge difficulties reconciling the population explosion with the goals of social and economic development. Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the revolution, gave his blessing to a progressive national family planning programme that was launched in 1989. Virtually every form of contraception became encouraged and provided free of charge through the extensive health system. Mobile teams visited remote areas to offer on-the-spot vasectomies.

Iran became unique among Muslim countries in implementing a system of prenuptial counselling on contraceptive methods that both partners must attend before they can marry. The country also became home to the region’s only state-sponsored condom factory which employs mostly women and produces some 45 million condoms a year. Ordinary condoms are produced for state clinics and counselling centres. More exotic varieties, textured or in flavours such as mint and banana, are available on the retail market.

Today, Iran’s population growth rate stands at around 1.2 per cent, similar to that of the United States. The Koran makes no specific mention of birth control, although the Prophet Muhammad himself is recorded as saying: "Marry and multiply, for I shall make a display of you before other nations on the Day of Judgment". Advocates of family planning counter with other words from the Prophet: "The most gruelling trial is to have plenty of children with no adequate means."

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