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Real estate agent detained in Iran for transferring house to canine

An Iranian property agency’s leader was arrested as a video went viral depicting the transfer of a house’s ownership to a dog.



IRAN: The head of a property agency in Iran has been arrested after a video that went viral appeared to show his company transferring the ownership of a house to a dog, officials said on Sunday.

The footage, which has circulated widely over the weekend, saw an Iranian couple sign a contract transferring the title of their apartment to their furry white dog called Chester.

The agent is shown describing the property while Chester’s owner places his paw on the deed.

His owner, the woman of the couple, then congratulates him.

She says in the video the couple have no “heirs and that they wanted to sell the apartment to the dog”.

“The police arrested the head of the real estate agency and shuttered the firm on Saturday (19 Aug),” the judiciary’s Mizan Online website quoted deputy prosecutor general Reza Tabar as saying.

Tabar said the decision to sell the apartment to Chester had “no legal basis” and “normalises the violation of the society’s moral values”.

The estate agent was not identified.

Conservative clerics in Iran have discouraged people from keeping dogs as pets, considering them unclean. Dog ownership is on the rise, however.

In 2022, the parliament introduced a bill to restrict pet ownership, which would require prospective owners to obtain a government permit and ban buying, selling or keeping dogs, cats and other animals as pets.

Tehran City Council also banned animals from public spaces after government-affiliated media described dogs walking around the city as a “major problem”.

Debates on banning pets began more than a decade ago, a vet in Iran told the BBC.

“Iranian MPs tried to promote a law to confiscate all dogs and give them to zoos or leave them in deserts,” said Dr Payam Moheb.

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