Flat Earth: Iran's finest

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OUR Central Asian market-stall correspondent reports an unusual new export from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Spotted among goods for sale at a vodka kiosk in Baku, Azerbaijan, were bottles of 96 per cent pure ethyl alcohol, retailing at 1,700 manat, or pounds 1.25.

'It's very popular,' the stall-holder told our man. 'I sell three or four bottles a day. It's more expensive, but when you water it down it goes a lot further than any other brand.'