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The Islamic Republic’s Latest Target? Iran’s Dogs

A woman walking a dog in a Tehran street in Iran. iranintl.com
A woman walking a dog in a Tehran street in Iran. iranintl.com

New reports from the Islamic Republic of Iran revealed that the Tehran municipality is growing increasingly critical of dogs, based on religious Islamic teachings.

Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani described dog-walking as “very wrong and illegal, especially when done without rules and regulations.”

Zakani called on legal authorities to “intervene and change the culture” such that if an individual seeks to walk a dog, they must do it “by the rules.”

Zakani’s deputy, Hossein Nazari, described dog walking as one of the “challenges” for the capital.

The Tehran municipality and the Islamic parliament view keeping dogs as a dangerous Westernized idea. Dogs are generally considered ‘ impure’ in Islam and banned in public places by Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia.

While Iran’s regime has always had laws limiting dog ownership, in recent years their ‘War on Dogs’ became more intense.

In 2022, Iranian lawmakers proposed a bill to ban the sale and ownership of pets, claiming that the measure was meant to protect public health.

Iranian dog owners in Tehran shared their grievances with Iran International, outlining their conflict with authorities and religious individuals subscribing to the Islamic Republic’s religious views on dogs.

Speaking to Iran International, the owner of a black terrier mix named ‘Snow’ said she faced objections when walking her dog in her apartment complex in northern Tehran. Non-dog-owning residents say dogs should be prohibited in common areas, citing concerns about their children playing there.

A golden cocker spaniel named ‘Woody’ said she witnessed crippling stress whenever she tried to take her dog for a walk, adding that the recent warnings from the authorities have made the situation more stressful. “Dogs have no rights in Iran,” she said.

Despite the mayor of Tehran arguing for the need to regulate dog ownership, implementing effective laws presents a significant issue. Crafting regulations would mean allowing certain freedoms to dogs and their owners, such as allocating designated areas or parks for walks, which goes against the state’s ideological stance.

The lack of clear regulations has led to legal challenges for Iranian dog owners. In early 2023, a real estate agency was closed off, and its owner was arrested after a video went viral of the property agency transferring ownership of an apartment to a dog. The footage showed an Iranian couple signing a contract transferring the title of their apartment to their small furry white dog.

Iranian police and Tehran’s deputy prosecutor Reza Tabar responded by “issuing an invalid contract for an apartment unit” for the couple’s arrest. Tabar described the transfer as ‘illegal’ and meant to “demean the norms of society.”

The new legislation would include a monetary fine ranging from $900 to $2,700 and the possibility of impounding the animal. Real estate agents would have to prohibit dogs in rental agreements within three months of the law’s enactment, along with corresponding fines for non-compliance.

Individuals walking their pets in the street could face a three-month jail term, or if driving with their canine friend, see their car confiscated for three months.

Following the 2022 protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Islamic morality police, the Islamic Republic of Iran has doubled down on enacting strict Sharia law measures against Iranian women fighting for their freedoms. Iranian lawmakers have called on authorities to ramp up executions and arrests of individuals speaking out against the regime.

Related Story: Leaked Docs Reveal Iran Regime’s Plans For ‘Mobile Hijab Courts’ to Prosecute Women Who Show Their Hair

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