Social media sensation: Tabatabaei posts regularly – to his more than 80,000 followers – heart-breaking stories of abused and neglected dogs that he has treated in his shelter. The many hundreds of comments from his young fans request rescue updates and send well wishes to the animals

Iran: Defiant Shia cleric takes in stray dogs

It's rare these days for a turbaned cleric in Iran to attract a large following of adoring young fans on Instagram, but Sayed Mahdi Tabatabaei has done it by rescuing street dogs in defiance of a local taboo. More...

More on this topic