By Kayhan Life Staff
The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Organization (customs and borders protection) has released new guidelines for fining dealers and consumers of alcoholic drinks based on the market value of the products and the U.S. dollar exchange rate on the open market.
In a directive sent to all senior officials on Oct. 30, the customs and borders agency listed the retail prices of various whisky, beer, vodka, wine, champagne, and other alcoholic drinks and the monetary fines for anyone who sells or consumes those beverages.
It is unclear how authorities will determine the fines for homemade alcoholic beverages.
Under Article 702 of the Islamic Republic penal code, anyone found guilty of producing, distributing, selling, or consuming alcoholic drinks is sentenced to between six months and a year of imprisonment, 74 lashes, and a fine equal to five times the retail value of the products.
A court can even sentence a repeat offender to death. A man convicted of consuming alcoholic drinks was reportedly executed in 2020.
Although Iran’s laws prohibit the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, consumers have been buying a wide range of alcoholic products, including whisky, vodka, wine, champagne, and homemade beverages, over the last 40 years. In most instances, sellers deliver the products to customers’ homes.
In the past four decades, authorities were unable to prevent the flow of alcoholic products into Iran via the country’s southern and northern borders.
There have been unconfirmed rumors about government officials running smuggling operations that bring alcoholic beverages and bootleg products into the country.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) report in 2019 ranked Iran ninth among 189 countries in terms of alcohol consumption per capita. On average, Iranians aged 15 and over who were regular users had consumed 28 liters of drinks with high alcohol content in 2016, an increase of 4 liters compared to 2010, the survey indicated
The holy city of Qom is said to have one of the highest rates of alcoholic consumption in the country.