The last few months have seen several atrocities directed at Iranian dogs, cats, and other wildlife. However, this is merely a continuance of customs enacted during the 1979 Revolution — customs dictated by Islamic tradition.
Earlier this year, thousands of Iranians protested after footage spread depicting a man beating a dog with a stick and kicking it brutally. The dog was also grabbed by its ears and tail and thrown against a man’s pickup truck; the attacker then struck the animal repeatedly with a shovel.
Perhaps most disturbing was the behavior of the onlookers. None intervened, and many laughed as the dog yelped in pain.
The protesters, who included Iranian celebrities and artists, gathered outside the Department of Environment in Tehran to demand legislation on animal abuse. The BBC reported:
This disturbing video spread quickly online in Iran, especially through the popular mobile phone messaging application, Telegram. The incident was investigated by park rangers who traced the truck’s number plate and were later able to locate the man, a local hunter, in a village in the Northwestern Province of Golestan.
Under the ayatollah’s regime, dogs are simply not welcome in Iran. The mullahs — with the backing of prominent Imams — enforce the Islamic teaching that dogs, while not themselves impure, bear impure saliva. The doctrine resides in the Hadith.
Previously, a group of Iranian MPs proposed that the acts of keeping dogs as pets or walking them in public be criminal offenses with perpetrators subject to 74 lashes or a fine.
As for strays, government-run news agency Tabnak reports:
The director of recycling in Mashhad City said that “we slay the shelterless dogs for about $10.”
Today, municipal contractors are hired to purge the cities from “street animals.” They exterminate using brutal procedures — toxic injections, poisoned food, or simply gunshots.
In 2015, a suspicious shelter fire killed 200 cats and the shelter’s founder.
Mrs. Sholeh Raoofi, 60, died from smoke inhalation. At least 350 cats and 12 dogs had lived in the shelter; afterwards the building was able to retain approximately 100 cats and dogs total.
Raoofi had founded the shelter — known as “Janan Shelter” (“Loved Ones Shelter”) — ten years ago at her own expense in Eshtehard County, Alborz Province. She lived in the shelter.
Prior to her death, she was frequently threatened by anonymous calls. Officials never revealed the cause of the fire:
To be fair, some animal activists have been suspicious of the event, and they claimed that the tragedy does not seem like a natural disaster.
Indeed, just a few days earlier a verifiable attack on a shelter occurred in Varamin County.
Assailants armed with cutlasses struck shelter caretaker Haleh Broumand, who was hospitalized with severe wounds.
The targeting of animals has always been a tenet of the mullah’s reign; it even occurred during the 1979 Islamic Revolution when a small farm of pigs cared for by an Armenian man was set on fire by Islamic revolutionaries in Abadan City.
Just weeks ago, over 20 wild boars were killed during an illegal hunt. Some animals, such as certain carnivores, are protected according to Sharia law. The herd arrived at a watering hole, where they were hunted and killed by locals at the Halab in Eijroud County, Zanjan Province.
The head of Iran’s Department of Environmental Protection, Naser Jafari, said that the wild herd had allegedly been attacked the moment it reached the watering hole. Officials announced that at least 12 locals were charged.
Animal rights violations are as rampant under the Iranian regime as human rights violations; indeed, the two atrocities go hand-in-hand. The regime both encourages the abuse of animals while imprisoning animal rights activists for being social or political dissidents.
For propaganda, the regime uses sutras to persuade citizens that man is superior to animals and abuse is acceptable or even warranted.
The regime also refuses to uphold approved international conventions, such as the Ramsar Convention regarding the conservation of wild species that was approved by the Iranian parliament in June 2007.
For more on the legal status of wildlife in Iran, see: “Hunting and Fishing Law of June 1967”; “Islamic Penal Code of November 1991”; and “Exploitation and Protecting Law for Aquatics of September 1995.”
Wildlife and domesticated species – not to mention the environment in general – suffer horrifying conditions under the Iranian regime.
Just one more element of this brutal administration that has been encouraged, or swept under the rug, by international organizations and governments that make allowances to deal with the mullahs.