Iranian medicine saving American lives: Report
Mon Dec 3, 2012 5:27PM
“The Iranian antivenin is the best.” Colonel Rob Russell, a British medical official with the foreign forces in AfghanistanIranian medicine has been saving the lives of Americans while the illegal US-led sanctions against the Islamic Republic have been adversely affecting the lives of many Iranian patients. A Sunday report on the website of the Wall Street Journal said the US Defense Department needs Iranian-researched and -produced medicine to treat the foreign forces in Afghanistan who get bitten by “Oxus cobras, Haly's pit vipers” and other snakes peculiar to southwest Asia. “Medical guidance issued by US Central Command says drugs made by Iran's Razi Vaccine & Serum Research Institute ‘should be the first line of antivenin therapy,’” the report cited a US officer as saying. “The Iranian antivenin is the best,” said Colonel Rob Russell, the medical director of the pharmacy at British-run Camp Bastion hospital, adjacent to the Camp Leatherneck US Marine base in southern Afghanistan. The report highlighted the fact that the antivenins produced in the US and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “won't work on Afghan snake bites.” This comes as the US-engineered sanctions are putting the lives of Iranian patients in jeopardy. Though the US has not imposed any bans on American firms to sell medicine and medical supplies to Iran, exporters have been required to apply for special licenses. In the wake of the sanctions, the impossibility of transferring money through banks has cast its cumbersome shadow upon medicine and healthcare in Iran, thereby jeopardizing the lives of millions of patients suffering from special diseases such as thalassemia, hemophilia, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and many others. In November, a hemophiliac Iranian teenager lost his life in hospital due to the shortage of required medication caused by the US-led sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Prominent Iranian author Dr. Ismail Salami has highlighted the inhumane nature of the US-engineered sanctions. “The sheer idea of imposing illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic and jeopardizing the lives of millions of patients is indeed an act of brutality which runs counter to the very true spirit of humanity as well as to international humanitarian laws,” Dr. Salami wrote in an op-ed on the website of Press TV on October 19.
Referring to the Iranian antidotes, Hadi Zareh, the lead researcher in Razi's antivenin department, said, “We make this to save lives, and it doesn't matter if the person is Iranian or Afghan or American. We are happy to hear we have saved a person's life, even an American soldier.”The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. YH/HMV/HJL