Iran arrests 120 in raid on illegal mixed-sex party

Tehran: Iranian police arrested 120 people during a raid on an illegal mixed-sex party in Tehran in which 15 bottles of alcohol were seized, a judiciary-linked website reported on Thursday.

Authorities have carried out a major crackdown on the underground party scene this year, but the raid was one of the biggest since 132 people were detained at a restaurant on the outskirts of the capital in June.

Two unlicensed singers were among those arrested in the raid on a cafe which had been rented out for the party, Mizan Online quoted Tehran chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi as saying.

Fifteen were found to have been drinking in violation of Iranian law, which permits alcohol consumption solely by non-Muslim citizens for religious purposes, Dolatabadi said.

All of those held were deemed to have been in breach of the strict dress code in force since the Islamic revolution of 1979, he added.

Penalties for illegal partying can be severe. More than 30 students arrested at a graduation celebration in northern Iran earlier this year were sentenced to 99 lashes each.

Agence France-Presse