Iran says 31 people have died from drinking tainted alcohol

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's state-run IRNA news agency says 31 people have died from drinking tainted alcohol across the country.

The report comes after 11 were said last week to have died of liquor poisoning in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas. Police arrested a husband and wife, along with their dealer, in that case.

According to IRNA, of 371 people who suffered alcohol poisoning, 173 are hospitalized.

The report says 17 of the casualties died in southern Hormozgan province, where Bandar Abbas is the capital, and 14 in four other provinces.

IRNA says that as the nation's currency plummets against the dollar, and the price of liquor rises, consumers increasingly turn to home-made alcohol.

In Iran, drinking alcohol is considered sinful and punishable by flogging and cash fines under Islamic law.

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