Tehran — A 22-year-old Iranian man married a 10-year-old girl according to the Shitte practice of “Mutah” in the Kohgiluyeh province of Iran, which drew criticism as well as neutrality over the internet.
Javad Heydarain—an Iran-based Journalist broke the story by posting the video of the wedding on Twitter, which forced Naser Mokhtari, head of the Welfare Bureau in Bahmai county to start investigation into the matter.
Mokhtari under social media pressure promised to submit a comprehensive report to the province’s Welfare Organization.
Mokhtari said, “The media should show some patience because until our investigations are complete we cannot offer any accurate information.”
However, Heydarain who originally posted the video claimed that the practice is culturally common in the province.
“Such horrifying cultural divides are inevitable because we have moved so quickly from a tribal and nomadic lifestyle with its own traditions and mores to a modern, urban way of living,” Heydarian said.
Fatemah N., a primary school teacher said that underage brides are common and she has attended many such wedding ceremonies in the past few years, IranWire reported.
“If my father or mother read the kinds of reactions people make on the internet, they’d think those people are Martians, that they must have gone crazy,” she said.
Fatemah added that girls beyond 20 years of age are considered an “old-maid”, and marrying them off at an early age is to avoid bringing shame to her family.
Mutah marriage is a commonly practiced system in Twelver Shittes of Iran, which is a private and verbal temporary marriage contract. The practice is promoted as a virtuous deed in Iran.