An official at the public health authority in Tabriz, the capital of East Azarbaijan province has confirmed that at least 72 people have been taken to hospital as a result of consuming home-made vodka in Ahar, North of Tabriz.
The official said at least three of the 28 patients at Sina Hospital in Tabriz are in critical conditions.
Iranians have been consuming home-made booze since the 1979 revolution that established the Islamic Republic and made drinking alcohol illegal. The consumption level is so high that the government has recently set up special citizen advice centers similar to Alcoholic Anonymous.
Death and blindness as a result of poor distillation using pressure cookers by individual consumers or secret commercial ventures are frequent.
In one of the latest cases, tens of people who drank "Joy water (Ab Shanguli)", the nickname for vodka, died or lost their eye-sight in Bandar Abbas in Southern Iran.