Tuesday April 23, 2019

Tainted Alcohol in Iran Cause Wide Spread Hospitalization and Deaths

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

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Iran
A bus is parked in Tabriz's Clock Tower Square in Tabriz, April 25, 2018. Ten people in the area have died from tainted alcohol, the state-run news agency reported. VOA

Iran’s state-run news agency says 10 people have died from tainted alcohol in northwestern Azarbaijan province while 240 were hospitalized.

IRNA says the alcohol poisoning took place over the past six weeks in the city of Tabriz.

Hodjat Pourfathi, an official with the Health Ministry, is quoted as saying three of the victims were blinded and several were in a coma. He says the fatalities are likely to rise.

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IRNA says the alcohol poisoning took place over the past six weeks in the city of Tabriz. Pixabay

IRNA reported 31 deaths from tainted alcohol last October, most of them in southern Hormozgan province.

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At the time, the agency said that as the nation’s currency plummets against the dollar and the price of liquor rises, consumers increasingly turn to homemade alcohol.

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

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U.S. To End Waivers For Iran Oil imports

Oil exports are a key source of revenue for Tehran, which has been hit hard by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (file photo)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. RFERL

U.S. President Donald Trump has decided not to reissue waivers in May allowing importers to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions, the White House said in a statement on April 21.

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market,” the White House said.

“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the statement added.

The decision means sanctions waivers for five nations, including China and India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, won’t be renewed when they expire on May 2.

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The move is part of the Trump administration’s tough line on Iran. VOA

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington has had “extensive and productive discussions with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other major producers to ease this transition and ensure sufficient supply.”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (Republican-Texas) applauded the end of oil waivers for Iran.

“This decision will deprive the ayatollahs of billions of dollars that they would have spent undermining the security of the United States and our allies, building up Iran’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs and financing global terrorism,” he said.

The move is part of the Trump administration’s tough line on Iran.

“We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until its leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of the Iranian people, and return to the negotiating table,” Pompeo said in an April 22 statement.

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“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the statement added. Pixabay

Oil exports are a key source of revenue for Tehran, which has been hit hard by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

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Ahead of Washington’s announcement, an unamed Iranian Oil Ministry source told the semiofficial Tasnim news agency that the United States will fail to cut Iranian oil exports to zero.

“Whether the waivers continue or not, Iran’s oil exports will not be zero under any circumstances unless Iranian authorities decide to stop oil exports…and this is not relevant now,” Tasnim quoted the unnamed “informed source” as saying. (RFERL)