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