Tehran, Islamic authorities against dogs: Ban on walking through the streets and parks

The provision is inserted in the context of the campaign aimed at discouraging the possession of the animal. For religious, it is a symbol of the Western way of life and the era of the Shah. Five years ago a bill called for heavy fines and whipping for those taking dogs for a walk.


Tehran (AsiaNews) - The Iranian capital has banned dog walking in public spaces, in the context of a campaign launched by the public administration to discourage possession of the animal considered man’s best friend. Owning a pet, especially dogs, and taking them for a walk has been controversial since 1979, the year of the Islamic Revolution that brought to power the Ayatollahs led by Khomeini.

Already in the past dog owners have had their pet confiscated by public security authorities.

Tehran police chief Hossein Rahimi has confirmed that he has "received permission from the general prosecutor's office" and "measures will be taken" against those who "walk with dogs in public spaces". The provision also includes restricted areas "such as parks".

Speaking to the Young journalists Club news agency, the head of security in the capital says that the ban on dogs is due to the feelings of "fear and anxiety" that they generate among the public. Activists and ordinary citizens speak of a draconian measure, with an additional postillion: it will not be possible to drive with the dogs in cars.

"It is forbidden - underlines Rahimi - to take dogs around the city by car. In case of non-compliance with the law, heavy measures will be taken against offenders ".

Not only are dogs considered "impure" by the Iranian Islamic authorities, they also consider the possession of the animal as a symbol of the western lifestyle, characteristic of the monarchical era archived with the rise of religious leaders.

In 2010 the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic guidance forbade any form of advertising for products dedicated to pets. Five years ago in Parliament a bill was discussed that included heavy fines and even flogging for those who take dogs for walks.

The provision that encloses the animal in the home has not created a  stir online and on social networks, where the question seems to have passed in silence. Among the few comments, that of a citizen on twitter who asked if, in the future, people will have to "walk their camels".

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