By Mike Pomranz
Updated January 22, 2016

Forget trying to drink wine in Iran. According to a new decree, the Islamic country doesn’t even want people to write the word. I guess our Iranian edition will have to just be “Food &” from now on.

Thanks to the Islamic Revolution, Iran has an unfriendly relationship with alcohol. Booze was banned in 1979, and according to the Washington Post, Muslim citizens can be punished with lashings for drinking. But apparently simply keeping hooch off the market hasn’t been enough to prevent the “Western cultural onslaught and any insult against the prophets,” so now Iran’s Culture Ministry wants to ban simply writing the word “wine” as well.

Books in the country are already reviewed by the ministry before publication to make sure they are “in line with promoting the principles of the Islamic Revolution,” according to RT News. Now with fear that “the cultural invasion of the arrogant [Western] powers” is continuing to increase, officials have decided to ramp up censorship even further. “Words like ‘wine’ and the names of foreign animals and pets, as well as the names of certain foreign presidents, are also banned under the new restricting regulations,” Mohammad Selgi, the head of book publishing at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, was quoted as saying.

As RT points out, the new guideline on wine presents a number of potential issues. The word “wine” appears in the Quran, winemaking has a deep-rooted history in the country, and famed Persian writers like the poet and philosopher Omar Khayyam have used the word repeatedly. Not to even mention that the word “wine” is used in the announcement that bans the word “wine.”

Still, if there is any positive here, I bet that by banning the word “wine,” snobbery in Iran will plummet. Maybe they should consider banning the words “Mercedes-Benz” and “Telluride” as well.