THE middle-class northern suburbs of Tehran are the wet part of Iran. In no other place in the Islamic Republic are piety and conservatism less evident and alcohol consumption more so. But a run on the rial throughout 2012, set off largely by international sanctions on Iran’s banking and oil, has made imported alcohol too expensive even for the better-off. Absolut Vodka, long a favourite tipple, now changes hands for three times more than it did before the currency began to slide at the start of last year.
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