After several embarrassing videos that surfaced online showing Iranians licking and even encouraging young children to lick the walls and grills of holy shrines in Iran that some believe may have the miracle cure for 'coronavirus'; the country has finally issued a dictate prohibiting such practices.
As per the new Iranian law, anyone found licking the walls or grills of the shrine will be flogged before he is arrested and made to pay a fine, Iranian news sources reported.
Earlier last week, several video clippings shot inside holy shrines in the city of Qam - the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak in Iran - found men licking and even encouraging young boys to lick the walls and grills of the shrines to show they were not scared of the highly contagious coronavirus (COVID 19).
The Iranian Shiite zealots encouraged by conservative clerics, believe that holy shrines are "miracle makers" and have the divine power to cure deadly diseases including COVID 19.
"I'm licking this I don't care whatever happens," a man says, "I am not scared of Coronavirus." Another man in the video says: "There are people who say that this shrine spreads the Coronavirus, I'm here to lick the tomb so that I can fall ill. This way, I have removed the viruses," says another.
In another video, a young boy is being encouraged to lick, while a man behind the camera says: "Bravo to this young child for licking all the doors. He's kissing it, licking it, He licked all the doors. We're the ones who will get the virus and our children," a person can be heard saying in the video.
A dozen such videos had surfaced online from Iran, following which Iranian authorities facing international criticism spun into action and arrested at least two people shown in the licking videos.
"What the detainee did was anomalous, and investigation into his case is underway," an Iranian judge said during the trial of one of the detainees, reported Radio Farda.
A BBC report city an Iranian MP said that anyone doing "unconventional acts" and spreading "superstitious" news will face - 74 lashes and two months prison as punishment.