The Iranian government has announced regulation guidelines for online dating, announcing that people can now legally set up dating websites on the internet after getting the necessary licence.

The Mehr News Agency reports that the Sports and Youth deputy culture minister said marriage counseling bylaws prepared by the ministry have been approved, adding: “Once the site managers of marriage counseling centres have been launched, dating sites will have six months to adapt to the new law and acquire a licence.”

The ministry announced its objectives as “providing education and counseling in family legal issues and responsibility, the promotion of youth empowerment, religious counseling and facilitating marriage.”

Last November, the ministry announced its concern regarding the scores of dating sites in Iran and said it planned to regulate them.

Iranian authorities had announced earlier that the public should refrain from using dating sites until government regulations were put in place.