Based on figures published by Iran’s census registration bureau, 791 babies were born in the past six months from mothers aged 10-14 years-old.

The highest number of child mothers giving birth came from one of the poorest provinces, Sistan and Baluchistan in the southeast with 248 births.

Activists have said that poverty is big reason for child marriages as poor families receive a few hundred dollars to allow their young girls to marry with prospective grooms who are also often as young as 14. In other cases, young girls are wed to much older men.

Despite years of efforts by activists and some politicians to outlaw child marriage, the ruling clerics have opposed a legal ban, saying that in Islam it is up to the parents to decide if their child is ready for marriage. The minimum age according to Islamic tradition is nine.

A report earlier this year said there were up to 30,000 marriages of children younger than 14 in one year.

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