After several years of successful policies aimed at curbing population growth, Iran, with a population of 80 million, has begun encouraging young people to marry and have more children.
The government fears that an aging population could one day overwhelm its social programs.
Iran has stopped providing free contraception and funding vasectomies, while state-sanctioned sermons have encouraged larger families.
The government is also considering funding low-interest loans for new couples and providing cash payments to new parents.
PS: How are attitudes in Iran about romantic love, marriage, and sexuality changing? JA: Iranians are more secular compared to many other parts of the Middle East, including Egypt. The median age of marriage in the country is 24; in the capital city, about 27.
Love-based marriages, unmarried couples being together in public or kissing or holding hands — these activities, though taboo, are more common in urban communities.
The traditional role of Iranian families and local matchmakers in arranging marriages has declined in recent years, and the country has some 350 private matchmaking sites.
Clerics have lamented that many young Iranians are opting for long-term dating and informal partnerships rather than traditional marriage.
These love-based marriages are sometimes fragile compared to an arranged marriage, where the entire community backs it.
A board of mediators matches applicants after reviewing their age, education, wealth and family background.
Golzari insisted the website is not a dating portal."The matchmaking website you are seeing today is not a website for introducing boys and girls to each other," he said.
Kopf said that he was particularly "impressed" by the level of education among Syrians and Iranians.
Around 90 percent of Iranians who took part in the competency check had completed training and further education after leaving high school. Around 40 percent of refugees from Iran and Iraq had university degrees.