Marry or be fired, employees told

 

From correspondents in Tehran

June 10, 2008 06:02pm

Article from: AAP
<http://www.news. com.au/story/ 0,23599,23842494 -38201,00. html>

A MAJOR Iranian state-owned company has told its single employees to get
married by September or face losing their jobs, the press reported today.

“One of the economic entities in the south of the country has asked its
single employees to start creating a family,” the hardline Kayhan daily
reported.

The paper did not mention the name of the company but the reformist Etemad
newspaper said the firm was the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone Company –
which covers Iran’s giant gas and petrochemical facilities on the shores of
the Gulf.

“Unfortunately some of our colleagues did not fulfil their commitments and
are still single,” Etemad quoted the company’s directive as saying.

“As being married is one of the criteria of employment, we are announcing
for the last time that all the female and male colleagues have until
September 21 to go ahead with this important and moral religious duty.”

Sexual relations outside of marriage are illegal in Iran – for the most part
a traditional society where young people normally are encouraged by their
families to marry in their 20s and swiftly bear children.

The country is also in the midst of an unprecedented moral crackdown which
has seen tens of thousands of women warned by the police for dress deemed to
be unIslamic.

The directive – signed by the head of security of the “Pars Special Economic
Energy Zone” – also used some of sayings (hadith) of the Muslim Prophet
Mohammed to encourage employees to marry.

It said employees’ contracts will be annulled by October 22 if they are
still found to be single.

The giant energy zone of refineries is located on Iran’s southern coastal
energy hub Assalouyeh where temperatures reach 50 Celsius in summer, hardly
a place for families.

The workers are usually young males seeking to earn a good income and the
decree appears aimed at making them marry to ensure they eschew sexual
temptations during their stay away from home.

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