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A Very Odd Couple on the Afghanistan Battlefield: Iran & America

Updated on December 3, 2012

It's true. Despite the animosity between the USA and Iranian governments over nefarious terrorist and nuclear issues, they are allied for one thing: snake bites.

The US depends on the Iranian government to treat bites by the deadly Oxus cobra, Haly's vipers and others found in southwest Asia that the Americans are unfamiliar with. Ironically, despite the embargo by the Obama administration that tries to convince its government not to pursue nuclear weapons, America violates it itself by purchasing the snake antidote using a middleman from Iran. Granted, it is only $310 for 115 vials a year, but it is odd that the antidote is only made by Iran's Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute.

The antidotes made from US snake varieties do not work on those in Afghanistan. The Razi Institute is now finding it more difficult to make the serum because of, ironically, the US imposed sanctions, which make it difficult to obtain the chemicals. The serum seems to work with all of the 13 species of poisonous snakes found in this war zone, none found in the North American area. The local snakes can kill within an hour of a bite.

When asked of a US officer why the antibody is purchased from Iran, the response is universally because it is the best.


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    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 

      5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Max: It's not MY logic. My opinion on the subject doesn't change the fact that besides the terrorists and the governments over there, the PEOPLE actually behave like civilized adults. Sanctions hurt those people... not terrorists, not governments because when resources become scarce, the terrorist organizations fight to control those resources, the government rations them (and they get the biggest share because they gotta pay for the military and the "fight against [whoever]") The "logic of a ten year old" is what those governments are using, and what our government uses, thinking a nation is the sum total only of what the governments do.

      Islam isn't the enemy. What the extremists are doing with it, is. Just like Christian Fundamentalism over here in the states, it's those people who call for violence. It's those people who can't see past their own prejudices.

      People like to point at the Quaran and say "Look, that book calls for these things, so Islam is bad." The trouble is, that the same fingers can point at the Christian or Jewish texts and make the same claims, yet we know that it is not the religions themselves that are the problem. It's the people who use literal interpretations or who aren't really believers but can manipulate those that are into doing terrible things, and in the grand scheme of things, that is a small minority. They use fear and anger to wield power far beyond their stature. Peace means an end to their power, not simply because they won't get what they want, but because without the hate and fear, they won't have any influence any more.

      THAT is the real world, and until we start living in it, we're focusing on the wrong targets and the problems will not be solved.

      btw: in case you think I'm blowing smoke out my ass about that COOPERATIVE science team:

    • profile image


      5 years ago


      I hope one of these days you're ready to join the real world. As long as you continue to use the logic of a ten year old you never will. The world doesn't always make sense and it isn't always pretty. Not everyone thinks like an American. Our enemy now is Islam.

    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 

      5 years ago from Wisconsin

      This is why sanctions don't work. Governments fight, throw tantrums, make this claim or that claim. Meanwhile..... in the real world.... life goes on. There is a scientific team jointly developing a research center (I think it's in Jordan, but I may be wrong) made up of Iranians, Israeli's, and various Palestinians. They don't have trouble working together. Why do the governments find it so hard to do so? The governments don't care about sanctions, and the people don't care about the politics, so why do we hurt the people with sanctions that the government just uses as political ammunition?


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