‘White marriages’: Iran’s cohabiting couples defy Sharia law

Couples in Iran are defying the country’s strict Islamic law by living together outside of wedlock, angering hardline clerics who call the practice is an insult to Islam.

The growing trend, known as ‘white marriage’ because of its association with the western world, has become so serious that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has commented on it. His office issued a warning to the public and called on police and the judiciary to “show no mercy” to couples discovered cohabiting.