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Iran clamps down on coffee shops

Four bookshops in Tehran this week closed their coffee shops after receiving a 72-hour ultimatum from Amaken-e Omoomi, a state body governing the retail trade. The order has led to the closure of the cafe in one of the city's best-known bookshops, Nashr-e Sales, which has hosted reading sessions by writers, including the Nobel prize-winning Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk, and become a popular meeting point for literary types.

Amaken justified the closures by declaring that the coffee shops constituted an illegal "mixing of trades". However, critics suspect the move is aimed at restricting the gathering of intellectuals and educated young people.

The Guardian reports.

Posted by Cynthia on October 31, 2007 at 02:34 PM in Coffee, Drinking Spaces, Iran | Permalink