A provincial representative of the Iranian Supreme Leader has recently sparked controversy after associating having dogs as pets with "a colonial scheme."
A young female musician playing #cello inside an #animal_shelter. #Tehran, #Iran. Photo from Elham Siami’s #instagram.#everydayTehran#everydayIran #everydayMiddleEast #everydayAsia #everydayEverywhere#MiddleEastImages #StayHome pic.twitter.com/c2M9SaTcyh— Everyday Iran (@everydayiran) December 29, 2020
Seyyed Mohammad Mahdi Hosseini Hamedani, the representative of Ali Khamenei in Alborz, has warned against adopting dogs as pets, saying that such practices are a product of western culture and that Iranians should be aware of it.
Hamedani who is a leading religious figure in Northern Iran has linked having pets with a "planned scheme by colonial powers" in reference to western countries where having animals as pets is a popular practice.
Homa Rashid, a lawyer and volunteer at the Vafa Animal Shelter, rests with a dog, in the city of Hashtgerd 43 miles (73 kilometers) west of the capital Tehran, #Iran. More than 500 dogs find care and affection at the Vafa Animal Shelter. pic.twitter.com/1EwIRm4GJD— Sports Plus (@PrepSportsPlus) January 18, 2021
Maryam Talaee, an animal lover, plays with her pets at home in Tehran, Iran and a general view of Vafa animal Shelter in the city of Hashtgerd, west of Tehran, Iran pic.twitter.com/imxfvn0y8V— Russell Boyce (@Cropperboyce) December 23, 2019
Hamedani's statements were part of a Friday sermon he delivered last week, during which he criticized women's lifestyle in Iran, saying that they are "adopting animals instead of having and raising kids."
In November 2019, Iran’s Consultative Assembly attempted to pass a law to ban dog walking across the country, but it has not affected Iranians' love of dogs over the years.
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