October 2, 2019 / 12:37 PM / 21 days ago

Iran passes law allowing women to pass citizenship to children

Iranian women walk in a local bazaar at Bandar Abbas, Iran August 22, 2019. Picture taken August 22, 2019. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS/Files

DUBAI (Reuters) - A top Iranian constitutional body has approved a law allowing Iranian women to pass their nationality to their children, state media reported on Wednesday.

Human rights experts have said the measure could help thousands of children living in legal limbo by letting them acquire citizenship in Iran, one of about 25 countries that do not permit women married to foreigners to hand their nationality to their children.

The state news agency IRNA quoted Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, spokesman for the Guardian Council which vets legislation passed by parliament for compliance with the constitution, as saying the body had approved the measure.

The council had earlier objected to the proposed law on security grounds and required changes allowing background checks on foreign fathers of the children, according to local media reports.

The reform could benefit children born to women who have married men from Iran’s large Afghan refugee and migrant population, according to Human Rights Watch. There are an estimated 3 million Afghans in Iran.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Giles Elgood

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