TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's president wants Iranian couples to have more children.
"It is said that two children is enough. I oppose this," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told legislators Sunday. "Our country has a lot of capacities. It even has the capacity for 120 million people."
According to the semiofficial Isna news agency, Ahmadinejad also said the West fears a high Iranian birthrate because other countries believe Iran "would eventually dominate them."
Ahmadinejad said his administration was ready to reduce working hours of women workers to allow them to rear more children.
Iran has a population of about 70 million.
In 1980s, President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani convinced prominent clerics to support his family planning program and reduced the birthrate to 1.7 per couple from 3.2.
However, many hardline clerics oppose family planning as unIslamic.