Iran threatens harsh penalties against dating website providers
The judiciary commission of the Iranian parliament on Wednesday threantended providers of dating websites in the Islamic state with of harsh penalties, Fars news agency reported.
The commission's spokesman, Farhad Tajari, said that those running such websites should know that they were committing a crime and could face legal action and harsh penalties, DPA reported.
Tajari called on all relevant organizations and ministries to harshly confront what he called illegal and immoral websites.
He added that especially the Telecommunications Ministry should cooperate to identify such websites.
Due to religious restrictions, there are no opportunities for young single women and men to meet in public or at parties.
Offenders might get temporarily arrested by vice police and have to pay at least a cash fine.
The internet has therefore become a suitable alternative for young Iranians to either flirt or even plan a serious relationship.
Social networking websites such as Facebook have become quite popular in Iran although they are filtered and the Iranian users have to use proxy servers to get access to such sites.
Those not familiar with foreign languages prefer to use Persian sites which are said to be very popular.
Last month 12 married couples were arrested in Iran for having started a swinger website to attract more Iranians for wife swapping.
It is not yet clear what punishment the couples might face.
In Iran any sexual relation outside marriage is strictly prohibited and married offenders could even face stoning to death.