Iran cleric bans dog ownership

TEHRAN - A senior Iranian cleric has decreed dogs are "unclean""and
should not be kept as pets -- a move aimed at discouraging Western-style
dog ownership in the Islamic state, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Dogs are considered "unclean""under Islamic tradition but, while
relatively rare in Iran, some people do keep them as pets.

By issuing a fatwa -- a religious ruling -- Grand Ayatollah Naser
Makarem Shirazi has sent a clear message that this trend must stop.

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