Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mohammed: Just say no to moonshine

Iran seizes four million litres of illicit booze

Iran on Wednesday said that it had seized four million litres of illicit booze during the last Iranian year, ending March 2007, the ISNA news agency reported. "Last year we seized four million litres of alcohol. It is very shocking, and this is only 25 to 30 percent of what is distributed in the country," police commander General Esmaeel Ahmadi-Moghadam said.

Only recognised Christian minorities in Iran, such as the Armenians, are allowed to produce and consume alcohol, discreetly and behind closed doors so as not to offend Islamic sensibilities.

Production, sale or consumption of alcohol are otherwise punishable by jail or the lash, although this has not stopped significant smuggling from neighbouring countries.

Earlier this month, 12 people died after drinking homemade hooch in a holy city of Qom in Iran and another 100 became sick. Most of the alcohol that comes to Iran comes over its western border from Iraqi Kurdistan. (ah, capitalism.)