Westerners 'lost in desert of lust': Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today criticised Western culture, saying its people are "lost in a desert of lust," and also took aim at his own country's family-planning policy, the Ilna news agency reported.

"We do not want man lost in the desert of lust but we want man up in heaven," he was quoted as telling a group of provincial administrators in the central city of Yazd.

Rejecting Iran's successful family-planning programme, he told Iranians to procreate, boasting an "Iranian-Islamic" development model can "conquer the world."

"The 'two kids are enough' motto belongs to the West's humanist and liberal system that says 'children are a nuisance, go have fun,'" he said of a nearly two-decade-old policy that encourages small families and makes contraceptives free of charge.

In recent years, Ahmadinejad has mocked the policy on several occasions.

"When we said two kids are not enough some opposed it. The two-kids-enough model destroys nations. What would happen in fifty years? The same thing that happened in Europe would befall us," he said.

In 1993, Iran introduced population-control policies in response to the baby boom that followed the 1979 Islamic revolution, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini urged Iranians to have more kids.

Since then, the annual population growth rate has dipped to about 1.6 per cent from 3.2 per cent in the early 1980s, earning the country a United Nations award for the effectiveness of its programme.

Ahmadinejad insists Iran could comfortably more than double its population to 150 million people from the current estimate of 74 million, and today called for pursuing an "Iranian-Islamic model" of development.

"With this model we can conquer the whole world," he said.

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