The President of Iran has passed a new law that allows men to marry their adopted daughters at the age of 13, igniting a great deal of suspicion that the recently-elected Hassan Rouhani is not as progressive as he advertised himself to be.
According to Daily Mail, the law was approved by the Iranian parliament and maintains that, with the permission of their father, girls can marry at the age of 13 and boys as young as 15.
The passing of the law comes just as days after Rouhani’s ground-breaking phone call with President Obama, the first form of open communication between the U.S. and Iran in 34 years.
Rouhani also told CNN that he would lift his country’s bans on social media and express more tolerance towards other religions.
This law, however, shows that he still approves of the same type of extremities that made Iran such a morally distraught and close-minded nation in the first place. The law is drawing much concern over the possibility of incest from various human rights groups.
“This bill is legalizing pedophilia,” lawyer Shadi Sadr, who works for the group Justice for Iran, told the Guardian.
“It’s not part of the Iranian culture to marry your adopted child. Obviously incest exists in Iran more or less as it happens in other countries across the world, but this bill is legalizing pedophilia and is endangering our children and normalizing this crime in our culture.”
According to Daily Mail, Iranian officials are arguing that the idea of fathers marrying adopted daughters is practical because adopted girls are forced to wear a hijab around their fathers and mothers must wear it in the presence of their adopted sons.
Sadr, however, believes this is just a legislative loophole to get around the normal boundaries of a paternal relationship, with the sexual aspect of marriage still being a factor even though it is constantly downplayed by the government.
“With this bill, you can be a pedophile and get your bait in the pretext of adopting children,” she said.
Underage marriage is a serious issue in Iran, as the country’s state agency reported that there were 42,000 Iranian children between the ages of 10 and 14 who were married in 2010.
The law still needs to be approved by Iran’s Governing Council to be put into effect. If it is approved, the law will be a huge step back for the country’s supposed path towards modernization.
Via: Daily Mail, Top Photo Credit: Getty Images