As part of its interventions in non-military fields, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) is now promoting fertilization and childbearing.

IRGC Commander Hossein Salami said on Saturday that in addition to face-to-face counseling, the military branch will also offer incentives regarding marriage and childbearing.

Iran's population growth rate has dropped significantly in the past 30 years.

“In relation to infertility treatment, we set up a center in Najmiyeh Hospital, which provides good services,” added Salami in a ceremony to mark National Youth Population Day.

“When the number of children in families decreases, the level of resistance, sacrifice, and vitality in the country also drops,” stated Salami.

According to him, the IRGC is top on the list among the armed forces in terms of bearing children.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says efforts to increase the country's population are among the most urgent duties and essential policies of the Islamic Republic.

He has repeatedly warned about “dangers of an aging population” and called for measures to boost birth rates.

The IRGC and Khamenei’s calls for childbearing come as tens of millions of Iranians have sunk into poverty in the last decade because of an inefficient economy, low growth and foreign sanctions.

Parliament passed legislation last year to outlaw tubectomy, vasectomy, and the free dispensation of contraceptives other than where pregnancy would threaten a woman's health.

The law obliges the government to offer incentives, including a 7.5-fold increase in child-benefit payments to government employees, interest-free loans, and other benefits. While the new law does not include a ban on prenatal screening, doctors have been advised not to encourage it.

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