Iran to manufacture multiple sclerosis cure – Trend

Iran will start domestic manufacture of Glatiramer acetate, which is used as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, General Director of Iranian “Tofik Daru” research company Huseyn Attar said, IRIB News reported.

Glatiramer acetate is an immunomodulator drug currently used to treat multiple sclerosis.

Although the clinical definition of multiple sclerosis requires two or more episodes of symptoms and signs, glatiramer acetate is approved for treatment after single episodes. It is also used to treat relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. It is administered by subcutaneous injection.

The drug was discovered first and manufactured in Israel, by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd – an international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Petah Tikva, Israel. Teva Pharmaceuticals is one of the 15 largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

Huseyn Attar added that Iran up until now has been importing Glatiramer acetate, however now the country will be able to manufacture it domestically.

“We’ve been importing several types of peptide drugs, such as Fentanil, Alfentanil, Sulfentanil and Glatimer acetate, a total of seven types,” Attar said. “To be manufactured, they require special technology, and Iran is able to produce them domestically”.

Attar added that Islamic Republic will be able to domestically manufacture 15 types of peptide drugs, among which is Glatimer acetate.

via Iran to manufacture multiple sclerosis cure – Trend.


Oil prices to jump 30pct on Iran sanctions – IMF – 260205 – 20

According to the International Monetary Fund, oil prices will gain 30% on average in 2012 compared with a year earlier on possible supply disruption from Iran.

The IMF in its new annual report of World Economic outlook has said that Iran related geopolitical oil supply risks extend beyond the reduction in oil production and exports that appears to be in the making already and is priced in by markets.

The following is the text of IMF’s report:

The impact on oil prices of a potential or actual disruption in oil supplies involving the Islamic Republic of Iran the world’s third largest exporter of crude oil would be large if not offset by supply increases elsewhere.

A halt of Iran’s exports to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development economies would likely trigger an initial oil price increase of about 20% to 30% with other producers or emergency stock releases likely providing some offset over time a part of this is likely priced in already. Further uncertainty about oil supply disruptions could trigger a much larger price spike.

via Oil prices to jump 30pct on Iran sanctions – IMF – 260205 – 20.

Tomgram: Juan Cole, The Iran Conundrum | TomDispatch


[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Check out Anis Shivani’s interview with me, focusing on themes from my book The United States of Fear, just up at Guernica magazine (a great online read by the way).  And remember, if you are an customer, arrive there via a TomDispatch book link, and buy anything whatsoever, book or otherwise, we get a modest cut of your purchase at no extra cost to you.  It’s an easy — and appreciated — way to contribute to this site. Tom]

Negotiators for Iran, the U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany are to meet in Turkey this Friday, face to face, for the first time in more than a year.  There are small signs of possible future compromise on both sides when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program (and a semi-public demand from Washington that could be an instant deal-breaker).  Looking at the big picture, though, there’s a remarkable amount we simply don’t know about Washington’s highly militarized policy toward Iran.

Every now and then, like a flash of lightning in a dark sky, some corner of it — and its enormity and longevity — is illuminated.  For example, in 2008, the New Yorker’s indefatigable Seymour Hersh reported that the previous year Congress had granted a Bush administration request for up to $400 million “to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran,” including “cross-border” operations from Iraq.  Just recently, Hersh offered a window into another little part of the U.S. program: the way, starting in 2005, the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command spent years secretly training members of M.E.K., an Iranian opposition-group-cum-cult that’s on the State Department’s terror list, at a Department of Energy site in the Nevada desert.

Similarly, from time to time, we get glimpses of the U.S. basing and naval build-up in the Persian Gulf, which is massive and ongoing.  As for the skies over Iran, last year the Iranians suddenly announced that they had acquired — downed, they claimed (though this was later denied by the Americans) — an advanced U.S. spy drone, the RQ-170 Sentinel.  Indeed, they had the photos to prove it.  Until then, there had been no publicity about American drones flying over Iranian territory and initially the U.S. military claimed that the plane had simplystrayed off course while patrolling the Afghan border.

Last week, however, a range of typically anonymous officials leaked to Washington Postreporters Joby Warrick and Greg Miller the news that the CIA’s drone surveillance program over Iran was more than three years old, large-scale, and itself just part of an “intelligence surge” focused on that country.  According to their sources, “The effort has included ramped-up eavesdropping by the National Security Agency, formation of an Iran task force among satellite-imagery analysts, and an expanded network of spies.” In addition, under former CIA Director Leon Panetta, “partnerships” were built “with allied intelligence services in the region capable of recruiting operatives for missions inside Iran.”

Such reports and leaks give us at least the bare and patchy outlines of a concerted military, covert action, spying, surveillance, and propaganda program of staggering proportions (and that’s without even adding in the Israeli version of the same, which evidently includes the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists). All of this, we have to believe, is but part of an even larger set of intertwined, militarized operations against a modest-sized regional power with relatively limited military capabilities.  It’s a program that we’re sure to know less about than we think we do, filled with what former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld would have called “known unknowns” as well as “unknown unknowns.”

via Tomgram: Juan Cole, The Iran Conundrum | TomDispatch.

Can Europe’s oil boycott really sink Iran? – Global Public Square – Blogs

Editor’s Note: Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan.  The following is reprinted from his blog Informed Comment. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Juan Cole.

By Juan ColeInformed Comment

The European Union threatened Iran on Monday with cutting off petroleum imports into the 27 EU member states, and announced sanctions on Iranian banks and some port and other companies.

Iran sells 18 percent of its petroleum to Europe, and Greece, Italy and Spain are particularly dependent on it. Europe also sells Iran nearly $12 billion a year in goods, which likely will cease, since there will be no way for Iran to pay for these goods. Some in Europe worry that the muscular anti-Iran policy of the UK, France and Germany in northern Europe will worsen the economic crisis of southern Mediterranean countries such as Greece.

Others think that Iran’s nuclear enrichment program is still primitive and that allegations that Iran is seeking a nuclear warhead are hype.

About 60% of Iran’s petroleum now goes to Asian countries, especially China, India, South Korea and Japan. China and India have no announced plans to reduce purchases of Iranian crude, and South Korea says it will seek an exemption from the US so as to continue to import. Japan says it plans only very slowly to reduce imports from Iran. Iran and India have just reached an agreement whereby some trade with Iran will be in rupees, to sidestep US sanctions. Indian firms are considering whether to fill the $8 billion gap in exports to Iran left by the Western sanctions (many do not want to be cut off from also exporting to the US, as they would be if third party sanctions were applied to them).

Can Europe’s oil boycott really sink Iran? – Global Public Square – Blogs.

Iran and Islam | The Iran Primer

Iran and Islam,  A primer

Via: Juan Cole

Iran is a theocracy that mixes religion and state more thoroughly than any other country in the world.

Shiite Islam gives a special place to its clerics and demands blind obedience to their rulings on religious law.

The commemoration of the martyrdom of holy figures is central to Shiite religious sensibilities and plays out in Iran’s populist politics.

Since 1979, the Islamic Republic has imposed a strongly patriarchal order, but pious women have found ways to assert themselves in society and education.

The contemporary Shiite revival has given Iran influence in the Muslim world and especially among other Shiite communities in the Arab world and South Asia, challenging the Sunni secular nationalists and traditional monarchies.


The 1979 revolution unseated the last dynasty to rule Iran from the Peacock Throne. But it also represented a revolution within Shiism, which had traditionally shunned direct clerical involvement in politics. Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini introduced the idea of clerical supervision of a modern republican state that has all three standard branches of government—the executive, legislature and judiciary.

Iran is today the world’s only clerically-ruled government. Shiite Islam is not just the religion of state, but also forms the framework for a theocracy. As such, religion and politics are inseparable. The starting point for debates in Iran is not secular law and civil rights, but the tradition of Muslim jurisprudence and practice called the Sharia. Lively debates center on issues such as the nature of a just government, women’s rights in Islam, economic justice and the extent of limits on personal liberty. Since the mid-1990s, the Iranian political divide has also played out over the balance of power between the republican and religious nature of the state.

via Iran and Islam | The Iran Primer.