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Iran Reverses its Population Policy

After years of successful efforts to curb its population growth by offering free or very inexpensive family planning services and promoting the idea that “two children are enough” in their health centers, Iran is dramatically changing its population policy. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced a new policy to encourage population growth saying that previous family planning was ungodly and a Western import. The new policy will pay families for each child and deposit money into that child’s bank account through their 18th birthday. This has the potential to undo the gains that were achieved under the old policy where population growth went from 3.9 percent a year in 1986 to 1.6 percent in 2006.