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Religious Leaders and Family Planning in Iran

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, family planning programmes were dismantled in Iran; however, in 1989, the government reversed its policies and since then has had one of the most successful programmes in the region. This was conditioned, along with the socio-economic factors, first of all by the positive role of the Islamic jurists in this process. Religious leaders' position on family planning and the circumstances, under which it can be practiced, has had a direct effect on how Iran has achieved the family planning targets.

In this article, an attempt is made to explore religious leaders' views toward family planning after 1989. The verdicts or the Fatwas of the Mujtahids in the context of family planning and issues related to it are discussed. After providing a brief review of different approaches on family planning in the Islamic tradition, the author elaborates the material through in-depth interviews with several prominent religious leaders including Mousavi Zanjani, Mousavi Ardabili, Ahmadi Miyanaji, Shobeiri Zanjani, and Ayatollah Sobhani to enrich the argument.

Affiliations: 1: University of Tehran


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