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Authorities in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, have enforced a ban on dog walking in public places like streets and parks. The bizarre measure is part of a long-standing effort to discourage dog ownership in the Islamic country.
Tehran’s police chief, Hossein Rahimi, recently announced that he has received permission from the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office to take measures against people walking dogs in public spaces, such as parks. These measures include fines and confiscation. Apparently, dogs create “fear and anxiety” among members of the public, but many consider this recent ban to be yet another effort by Iranian authorities to discourage dog ownership. Canines are considered unclean or impure by the country’s religious leaders, and a symbol of the pro-Western policy adopted by the old Monarchy dethroned during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
General Rahimi told the Young Journalist Club agency. “The police will take measures against the owners. People who walk their dogs in public places shall be dealt with severely.”
But it gets worse for dog owners in Iran’s capital. Rahimi added that apart from punishing those people who walk their pets in public places, the police will also act against those who transport them in their cars.
“It is forbidden to drive dogs around in cars and, if this is observed, serious police action will be taken against the car-owners in question,” he told YJC.
“Religiously speaking, wherever a dog sits or walks, we cannot pray,” said in an interview. “We are experiencing economic difficulties but the dog lovers are spending billions of dollars each year for dog food. We need that money for more important things.”