Iran: Iranian man to pay wife a 124,000-rose dowry

An Iranian court has ordered a man to give his wife the 124,000 roses that he promised in her dowry, after she filed a complaint to claim it, reports say.
The woman said she was claiming the dowry because her "very stingy husband" would not even pay for a cup of coffee, according to the E'temad newspaper. The court has seized the man's flat until he produces all of the roses.
Under Iranian law, a woman can claim her dowry, or mahr, at any time during a marriage or when getting divorced. The gift becomes the property of the wife to do whatever she likes with. It is required in order for the marriage contract and the marriage itself to be valid.

According to E'temad, the woman, identified as Hengameh, decided to claim her entire dowry of 124,000 red roses after 10 years of marriage to "punish her very stingy husband". "Shortly after marriage, I realised that Shahin was very cheap," she told the newspaper. "He even refused to pay for my coffee if we went to a cafe or restaurant."

Shahin told the court he could only afford to give her five roses a day and complained that it was his wife's "billionaire friends who had put such ideas in her head".

But the judge rejected Shahin's pleas and ordered his $64,000 (£33,000) flat to be confiscated until he has bought them all.

A long-stemmed rose costs about $2 (£1.09) in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

It is common in Iran to offer gold coins or property as mahr. An Iranian man can end up in jail for dowry debts.

3 March 2008