Iran’s deputy health minister described alcohol consumption in Tehran as “alarming” despite the ban in force in the Islamic country, Al-Arabiya quoted local media as saying on Tuesday.
Bagher Larijani, deputy health minister, was alerted several times by medical staff in hospitals located popular areas who had received patients with high blood alcohol concentrations.
Since the Islamic revolution in 1979 the consumption, manufacturing and trading of alcohol in any form is banned throughout the Islamic Republic. Only non-Muslim minorities are allowed to produce alcoholic beverages for their own private consumption and for religious rites.
Between 60 and 80 million litters of alcohol is smuggled into Iran every year. The market of alcohol is estimated at $ 730 million per year.
If found guilty of alcohol consumption the sanction provided is a fine of 2 million rials (120 dollars), the confiscation of driver’s license and prosecution.
There are approximately 200,000 alcoholic cases in Iran according to General Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam. Larijani said it was more important to deal with the issue of alcohol than with other diseases like “diabetes, heart illnesses and vascular problems.”