The chief conscription officer of the armed forces, Gen. Moussa Kamali, has told reporters that Iran is currently encountering difficulties in securing an adequate number of soldiers and may increase mandatory military service to 24 months. He also reported that many exemptions, deductions and options to pay to avoid military service will be removed.

Kamali said that Iran was facing decreasing birth rates and that from 1980 to 2001, the number of births had dropped by more than half. Therefore, Kamali said, “The armed forces have encountered difficulties in securing the needed soldiers. As a result, the possibility exists that in the following year, all or part of the deductions for military service will be removed and [compulsory] military service will be increased to 24 months.” Kamali added that reduced-time exemptions are still applicable for those who entered military service this Iranian calendar year, which ends March 2014.

In Iran, military service is mandatory for all males and generally not viewed favorably by many who feel that their time spent in service delays their professional and personal lives. Atypically for Iranian websites, the comments section of Alef article was extremely long and full of protestations. […]