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Iran: More Than One Million Said to Defy Alcohol Ban

Despite an officially enforced Islamic prohibition on alcoholic beverages, more than one million Iranians are drinkers, a medical toxicologist said Tuesday. The toxicologist, Dr. Reza Afshari, president of the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Toxicology, was quoted by the Iranian Students’ News Agency as saying the finding was based on a yearlong study that ended in March 2013. It also showed that 30 percent of the drinkers are women. Dr. Afshari spoke at what the news agency called the first conference on alcohol abuse in Iran, a reflection of the government’s acknowledgment of the problem. Alcohol consumption, possession and production have been illegal since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but smuggled and homemade liquor is said to be widely available. Government officials have said at least 200,000 Iranians are alcoholics.

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(via NY Times)