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Iran extends military service as birthrate slows


TEHRAN (AFP): Iran is to extend compulsory military service to two years because of a shortage of conscripts in the Islamic republic, the army has said.

The decision to extend the term by three months from March results from a fall in the number of men aged 18, chief conscription officer General Moussa Kamali was quoted by state media as saying.

He said compulsory service would be three months shorter for married men, and cut by another three months for each child in the case of fathers.

A three-month reduction could also apply for service in "operations and security zones", he said, apparently referring to border regions with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Women are exempted from military service in the country of 77 million, whose birthrate has been in decline, while young Iranian men living abroad can pay an exemption fee.

Iran's armed services are estimated to number 700,000 men, according to foreign experts.

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Iran  Military  Army  Conscripts  

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