Iran’s capital city has banned the public from walking pet dogs, as part of a long-standing official campaign to discourage dog-ownership.
Tehran Police Chief Hossein Rahimi said “we have received permission from the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office, and will take measures against people walking dogs in public spaces, such as parks”.
Owning dogs as pets, and walking them in public, has been contentious ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, and owners have sometimes had their dogs confiscated.
Dogs are viewed as “unclean” by Iran’s Islamic authorities, who also regard dog-ownership as a symbol of the pro-Western policy of the ousted monarchy.
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance banned the media from publishing any advertisements for pets or pet-related products back in 2010, and there was a push in parliament five years ago to fine and even flog dog-walkers.
The latest anti-dog drive has not created great waves on social media, although one Twitter user asked whether the people of Tehran will be forced to ride camels next.