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Latest Wave of Bootleg Alcohol Abuse in Iran Kills One, Poisons 45 Others

A man being flogged for drinking alcohol in Iran. Date Unknown. File photo
A man being flogged for drinking alcohol in Iran. Date Unknown. File photo

Home-made vodka has killed at least one and poisoned 45 others in Poldasht, in West Azerbaijan Province, northwest Iran.

Reports from Iran say so far 11 of those poisoned have been taken to the hospital in serious conditions.

Poisoning by bootleg booze has been on the rise in recent month in various parts of Iran.

Legal production of alcoholic beverages and liquor, as well as its consumption by Muslims was banned 40 years ago after the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran.

An Iranian official told IRNA that since March at least 127 people have been poisoned by bootleg vodka in Western Azarbaijan Province alone and 10 have died.

Meanwhile, in the neighboring Eastern Azarbaijan Province, 238 people have been poisoned by the deadly home-made drink and another 10 lost their lives during the past month.

According to the Iranian official news agency (IRNA) poorly distilled vodka particularly affects victims' livers, kidneys and eyes.

The report says 3 men have been arrested for selling the killer booze.

There is no hygienic supervision on the production of alcoholic drinks as drinking and drink making have been criminalized by Iran's Islamic laws. Muslims caught making or drinking alcoholic drinks are lashed.

Recently, a former reformist official, Mostafa Tajzadeh called on the government to re-consider laws regarding alcoholic drinks as the government's anti-alcohol policy has failed.