TEHRAN - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called for the adoption of measures to encourage Iranians to have larger families and warned about the consequences of an aging population and a low birth rate.
Having “a youthful image is a major and decisive issue for a country,” he said in a message read out to a conference on “demographical changes and their role on social developments,” which began in the city of Qom on Thursday.
“Therefore, it is necessary to conduct essential and scientific work to solve this problem” in Iran, the Leader said.
He asked Iranian scholars and intellectuals to thoroughly study the causes that have made Iranians prefer smaller families and to find ways to encourage them to have more children.
Ayatollah Khamenei also said that there are a number of social issues that have caused a decline in Iran’s birth rate, such as joblessness, low incomes, and the fact that people are getting married at an older age, which should be addressed through proper measures.
“I believe that our country is not a country of 75 million people, our country [could be] a country of 150 million people… and even more,” he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei also stated that since Iran is a large country, is rich in resources, and has good scientific potential, it has the potential to be a populous country.