Iran confronts its alcohol problem
Los Angeles Times / Mostaghim
08-Jul-2012 (one comment)

TEHRAN — On most days, Mohsen can be found driving around the capital in his old Peugeot with a hired female relative, trying to pass himself off as a father shopping with his daughter.

But the errands he's running involve delivering homemade beer and wine or smuggled vodka and whiskey to customers across the city. He doesn't work nights; that's when the country's moral police set up checkpoints to catch bootleggers like him.


Iran confronts its alcohol problem

by yolanda on

In Iran, drinking has long been a deeply rooted part of Persian society, from the upper-class elite who hold discreet parties in their Tehran apartments to the blue-collar workers who drink the sometimes toxic homemade brews. The Islamic Revolution in 1979 attempted to squelch the custom, as part of a greater effort to erase the Persian culture in favor of an Islamic one, Semati said.

Part of the culture that thrived before the revolution celebrated the lifestyle of working-class machismo epitomized in popular action films.

Today, young people are increasingly turning to alcohol as an escape from their lives, which they feel are boxed in politically, socially and economically.