Upon seeing these data, the government wasted no time in dropping support for its longstanding birth control program.
Iran has scrapped its birth-control program in a radical policy reversal intended to produce a baby boom that could more than double its population.
The health ministry confirmed the shift days after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, said that the two-decade-old policy of controlled growth must end and that Iran should aim for a population of 150 million to 200 million. A recent census revealed the country has just over 75 million people. According to the UN in 2009, Iran topped the list of countries experiencing the greatest drop in fertility rates since 1980.
The reduction was achieved with the help of an extensive publicly backed initiative that included vasectomies, contraceptives issued by the health ministry, statutory family planning advice for newlyweds and even a state-owned condom factory.
It was introduced in the early 1990s when officials feared a population explosion that occurred after the 1979 Islamic revolution could stretch resources to the breaking point.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has previously called on Iranians to have more children, saying it would help Iran to defeat the west.
As you can see, President Ahmadinejad's call to Iranians has been widely ignored, but it is possible that the birth rate will go up if couples find it increasingly difficult to avoid a pregnancy due to the loss of government subsidized programs. And, of course, this could divert a little attention away from the Iranian nuclear program...