The marriages, called sigheh or mut'ah, simply require couples to appear before a cleric at a registry office with their ID papers, no witnesses necessary. The cleric declares the couple "married" for as long as they choose, which might be just an hour. Such unions are said to date back to the time of Muhammad, who recommended them for soldiers, presumably so the men could satisfy their sexual needs within the bounds of Muslim law. But now sigheh sites like mutah.com and nikahmarriage.i12.com are springing up, offering dating advice and profiles of singles.
Opinions on sigheh differ, with some Iranians saying prostitutes use it to dodge the law. But there are also those who know that modern love--even under a repressive regime--will find a way.