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Iran Suspends 'Aryan' Style Marriage Ceremonies, Calling It 'Un-Islamic'

File photo from a wedding in Iran.

The official institutions and bureaus that register marriage contracts based on ancient Aryan ceremonies and rites have been suspended, and sealed-off in Iran, the head of the Islamic Republic's Union of Marriage and Divorce registration bureaus announced on Wednesday.

The suspended bureaus amount to 34, and mainly located in the provinces of Tehran and Alborz, the state-run Young Journalists Club (YJC) cited marriage registration official Ali Mozaffari, as saying.

Many couples in recent years in Iran have replaced Islamic marriage contracts and ceremonies with the Aryan version.

The Iranian people believe they are the descendants of an ancient Aryan population group, with some of its members having moved to Europe thousands of years ago, while the forefathers of Iranians migrated south to the Iranian plateau.

Furthermore, the term Aryan, as an ethnic label for Iraninas is also mentioned in the pre-Islamic Avesta scriptures and many insist the word forms the etymological source of the country's name, Iran.

During the Aryan marriage ceremony, a verse from the Zoroastrian holy book is read to the couple, "These words I speak to you, maidens and newlywed husbands, and hope you will bear them in your minds carefully. Understand them deep within your souls and always live full of love with a pure mind. Try to surpass each other in truth and righteousness. Thus, each one of you shall, indeed, reap the reward of joy and happiness."

However, the majority of Iranians marry based on the so-called Islamic tradition with Arabic phrases that they do not understand a word of it.

According to Mozaffari, Aryan marriage contracts and ceremonies related to it is "against the law" of the land.

Nevertheless, Mozaffari asserted the charge against 21 marriage bureaus that were sealed off is using "fake titles."

Proponents of the Aryan marriage argue that no written law bans them to marry each other in ancient Iranian style.

Moreover, they also argue, as Zoroastrianism is recognized by the Islamic Republic's Constitution, they should be free to marry on the basis of Aryan traditions.

Nonetheless, the authorities are vehemently against whatever they find to be "un-Islamic," and try to suppress it with full force.

Meanwhile, temporary marriages based on Iran’s Shiite Muslim tradition, called Sigha, has boomed in the past four decades after the downfall of Iran's pro-West monarch Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979.

In Iran today, couples can specify the length of their marriage, from a few minutes to 99 years. It is a way for single men and women, divorced Iranians and precocious teens to date, and have sex, in a way that is acceptable in Shi'ite Islam. Under the Islamic penal code in Iran, unmarried couples who have sex or even date and hold hands can be arrested, fined, or also flogged. Moreover, a woman having sex outside marriage could be sentenced to death by stoning.

Many sociologists believe that many Iranian youth have turned to Aryan marriage as a tool to preserve their national identity against the Islamic identity that the establishment has been trying to force on them.