The New Iranian Demographic Policies; Motivations and Objectives
Almost two years ago, The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ali Khamenei has acknowledged the failure of the demographic policies which were adopted by the Islamic Republic regime over the past three decades. He called on the government for an immediate freeze for all programs related to family planning and draft alternative laws that encourage early marriage and having children. The new approach faced harsh criticism from opposition, while the government of President Hasan Rouhani has announced late July 2014 a comprehensive plan for the new Iranian demographic policy based on 14 pillars. Those pillars were included in a decree issued by Khamenei to the heads of the three branches of power. It is clear that the objectives of the new Iranian demographic policy have surpassed the strategic, economic, social and cultural aspects to touch upon sectarian and geostrategic dimensions the impact of which will mature in the coming decades. The paper clarifies the most important elements of the Iranian demographic problem, the sectarian dimension for this strategic shift in Iran and its possible impact inside and outside the country.
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