Parliament in Iraq has voted to ban the sale, import and production of alcohol, with backers of the move arguing that its availability contradicts Islam and is unconstitutional.
Opponents argue that the vote infringes constitutional guarantees of freedom of religious belief for minority groups such as Christians. They say they will appeal against the surprise decision in the courts.
An official said that the ban was a last-minute move by conservatives.
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, activities perceived to be contrary to the moral code of Islam have come under repeated attack, with alcohol shops targeted in Baghdad and other cities.