Iraqi parliament passes bill banning alcohol

Iraq's parliament has passed a law forbidding the import, production or selling of alcoholic beverages.

The bill passed late Saturday imposes a fine of up to 25 million Iraqi dinars, or $21,000, for anyone violating the ban.

Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol, but it has always been available in Iraq's larger cities, mainly from shops run by Christians. Those shops are currently closed because of the Shiite holy month of Muharram.

Iraq's parliament is dominated by Shiite Islamist parties. The legislation was proposed by Mahmoud al-Hassan, a judge and lawmaker from the State of Law coalition, the largest bloc in parliament.

The assembly announced the ban on its website. It did not say how many lawmakers voted for or against it.