Tehran bans dog walking in public places including parks

Police chief claims move is because of dogs 'creating fear and anxiety' among members of public

Chiara Giordano
Tuesday 29 January 2019 18:57
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Iranian women celebrate after being allowed into stadium for first time in 37 years to watch World Cup match

Iran has banned dog-walking in its capital city in public places such as parks.

Tehran Police Chief Hossein Rahimi reportedly said Tehran’s Prosecutor’s Office had given its stamp of approval for the ban.

According to the BBC, he told the Young Journalists Club (YJC) news agency that the move was because dogs are “creating fear and anxiety” among members of the public.

“We have received permission from the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office, and will take measures against people walking dogs in public spaces, such as parks,” he told the agency, which was set up by Iran’s state broadcaster.

He added that people are also prohibited from driving a car with a dog inside.

Brigadier General Rahimi told YJC: “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.”

Islamic tradition considers dogs to be “unclean” animals.

Many people avoid having them in the home, but keeping dogs as pets has become increasingly popular, especially among the Iranian middle class.

Hardliners in Iran see this as an imitation of Western culture.

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The Independent has previously reported on Iran’s ban of the use of the word “wine”, as well as the names of certain “foreign animals” and “foreign presidents”.

The Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance decided to censor the word and names to protect Iranians from a “Western cultural onslaught”.

Zumba exercise classes have also effectively been banned because they “contravene Islamic ideology”.

Dancing or performing “rhythmic movements” in any form is technically illegal in Iran.

Eighteen-year-old gymnast Maedeh Hojabri was arrested last year after posting clips of herself performing dance routines on Instagram.

A group of seven Iranian men and women who created a spoof video of Pharrell Williams’ song Happy were also handed suspended sentences of prison time and 91 lashes in 2014.

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