In 1985, the average Iranian woman gave birth to 5.6 children, one of the highest birthrates in the world, consistent with the Ayatollah Khomeni’s call to create “soldiers for Islam.”
But after the war with Iraq, which killed between 500,000 and one million Iranian men, Iran’s high birthrate was viewed as a liability. In 1993, the government enacted a “family-planning” law that not only encouraged the use of birth control but also eliminated maternity leave after three children.
The results were unprecedented: In seven years, Iran’s birthrate had dropped to less than replacement level, two births per woman. Iran’s population, which doubled between 1968 and 1988, was now growing at less than 1 percent per year.
Unfortunately, the West is having the same deomgraphic crisis as Iran. But a society without youth is a dying society, so Iran’s days may be numbered. Another advantage for the West is that people want to live here, as judged by our immigration numbers, unlike Iran.