01/07/2014 11:37 am ET Updated Mar 09, 2014

More Unmarried Couples Living Together in Iran

A rather new element of Iran's paradoxical society is visible in some homes: cohabitation of unmarried couples. A small group of young, and a smaller group of elder avant-garde intellectuals and artists have always chosen this lifestyle over the past 30 years but, according to Iranian officials, it is on the rise.

Couples living together without being married is still quite uncommon, and sometimes even unheard of, particularly for the traditional and religious types who would deem this lifestyle unacceptable. However, that this trend has caused authorities to speak out against it is an indication that it is a serious issue for a country that espouses traditional Islamic values and is facing a declining birth rate.

This post was originally published on Al-Monitor.