A new survey in Iran shows that 25 percent of university students see no problem in drinking alcohol, which has been strictly forbidden since the Islamic revolution, Mehr news agency reported on Friday.
"Based on the findings of a survey, 25 percent of university students see no problem in consuming alcohol," the head of Iran's Sociological Association, Saeed Moeidfar, was quoted as saying.
He added that the finding was based on a survey of 1,500 university students aged 18 to 24, but did not elaborate on the religious affiliation of those who took part. No margin of error was given.
"Twenty percent of them said that they are already drinking alcohol and the remaining five percent said they were tempted to do so," Moeidfar said.
"Alcohol consumption is more widespread than narcotics use, and while 95 percent of students said they abhor the taking of drugs, there is less shame attached to alcohol, with some even finding its use prestigious," he said.
According to official figures there are around three million university students in Iran.
Since the 1979 revolution ousted the shah and established the Islamic Republic of Iran drinking alcohol has been forbidden, although some Iranians flout the rules and police regularly announce major alcohol seizures.
Only recognised Christian minorities such as the Armenians are allowed to produce and consume alcohol -- discreetly and behind closed doors in order not to offend Islamic sensibilities.