Dog Walking Disrupts Public Order, Tehran Traffic Police Chief Says 

By Azadeh Karimi

Walking a dog, having tinted car windows, or playing loud music while driving is disorderly conduct, the head of Tehran’s traffic police, Brigadier General Seyyed Kamal Hadianfar has said. The traffic police is a branch of the Law Enforcement Forces of the Islamic Republic (NAJA).

Brigadier General Hadianfar made the comments at a ceremony honoring the former and current senior officers of Tehran Traffic Police.

“We live in an Islamic country. Dog-walking, tinting car windows, and playing loud music while driving are not acceptable behaviors,” General Hadianfar was quoted by the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) as saying. “Showing off one’s luxury car is not appropriate social conduct. Fortunately, Brigadier General [Hossein] Rahimi [the Commander of Tehran’s NAJA] has taken robust measures in this respect. We must take further steps to tackle these problems.”

Tehran restricted dog ownership after a 10-year-old girl was attacked and severely injured by a German shepherd and a pitbull in November 2018. The dogs were reportedly not on a leash.

FILE PHOTO: A dog rides with a couple on a motorcycle in Tehran. REUTERS./

“I took my family for a day out to Lavasan [an affluent Tehran suburb],” the father of the girl, known only by her first name Bahar, told the semi-official Fars news agency. “A German shepherd and a pitbull which were not on a leash, surrounded us. The dog owners shouted, ‘No one move!’ But my daughter was terrified and ran towards her mother. That’s when the dogs attacked her.”

“We were trying to rescue Bahar, but the dogs would not let go of her,” the father explained. “My friend and I kept kicking the dogs, hoping they would release my daughter. The dog owners were angry at us for kicking their dogs.”

“We rushed Bahar to the hospital. Her injuries were so severe that they had to give her general anaesthetic anytime they washed her,” He added. “The dog owners were released after posting bail. A dog attack is not a prosecutable crime. The owners usually get off by making financial restitution to the injured party.”

A month later, Tehran and several other major cities made dog walking a misdemeanor offense. However, authoritiesaround the country have not enforced the law, because no clear guidelines have been given to local prosecutors’ around the country on what dog-walkers should be charged with, the Etemad newspaper online reported in June 2019.

Dogs are viewed as “unclean” by the Islamic Republic authorities. Owning dogs, playing loud music while driving, and tinting car windows are considered Western practices.

This article was translated and adapted from Persian by Fardine Hamidi.

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