An Iranian couple sit together in the northwestern Shahran neighbourhood overlooking Tehran on June 7, 2014.AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE
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TEHRAN: Like an increasing number of Iranians, Mahnaz divorced after marrying young because of the pressures of a conservative society that she feels often ignores a relationship's most important ingredient: love.Now single, she looks back with sadness on the collapse of her marriage, but bears no anger toward her parents who made the arrangements seven years ago.Iran's average divorce rate peaked at 21 percent last year, with big cities showing far higher rates.One in three marriages fails in the capital Tehran; in its northern quarter, home to the more affluent Western-leaning metropolitan elite, the figure is more than 40 percent.What lies beneath is usually deep parental involvement in a country where even for young adults the family is core; most singles live at home.Average ages for marriage are rising despite a government appeal for more unions and more children.
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