Decades After Alcohol Ban, Iran Admits It Has a Problem

“I’ve given up the bottle for 12 days now,” said Mehdi, a tall computer specialist who requested anonymity because of the stigma still attached to alcoholism in Iran. To cheers and hoots, he added: “This is a big step for someone who was drunk most of the time.”


Reza Konjedi, a former alcoholic who runs several Alcoholics Anonymous support groups in Tehran, with his son at a meeting.

Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

The government is even running public campaigns warning Iranians not to drink and drive, something it never would have done in the past.

Along roads leading to the Caspian Sea, a favorite holiday destination, billboards showing bottles of…

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