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Iran claims found herbal cure for AIDS; Ahmadinejad vows Islamic Republic's nuclear rights 'will be established' on Feb. 11

Ron Brynaert
Raw Story
Monday, February 5, 2007

On the same day that Iranian scientists claimed that they have discovered a herbal cure for AIDS, President Ahmadinejad vowed that on February 11 the Islamic Republic's nuclear rights "will be established."

"The drug named 'IMOD' is completely effective and safe with no proved side effects," Iran's Minister of Health, Treatment and Medical Training Kamran Bagheri Lankarani said, according to Fars News Agency, which bills itself as independent, but the BBC describes as "affiliated" to Iran's judiciary.

The herbal medicine produced, "after seven long years of arduous work," by Iranian scientists "strengthens [the] immunity system of the patients against HIV and provides a more qualitative life for the affected population," the article continues.

UPI reports that the "state-controlled IRNA news agency quoted an unidentified ministry employee as saying, 'The research studies to find out a formula to cure AIDS was initiated during the tenure of two former health ministers and have led to useful results.'"

Former Minister of Health and Medical Education Dr. Mohammad Farhadi said the chemical and herbal treatment appeared effective on other immune disorders as well.

"The theory was to determine whether or not it is possible to boost the immunity system of the body," former Minister of Health and Medical Education Dr. Mohammad Farhadi said in the IRNA report, according to UPI. "Some 60 projects were initiated to attain the result."

"The herbal-based medication, called IMOD, serves to control the AIDS virus and increases the body's immunity," Baqeri Lankarani was quoted as saying by the official news agency IRNA.

"It is not a medication to kill the virus, it rather can be used besides other anti-retroviral drugs," Baqeri Lankarani said on state radio.

The drug, made after five years of research, has been tested on 200 patients, IRNA said, adding that it is considered the fifth generation of medications helping control the HIV/AIDS virus.

"This is a substance good for both AIDS patients and those who carry the virus without showing the symptoms," the director of the project, Mohammad Farhadi, told state television.

Farhadi said the medication will now be tested on some 3,000 to 5,000 Iranian patients in the next year to monitor its efficacy.

Health Minister Baqeri Lankarani said that the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Iran stands at around 14,000 while 1,700 people have died of the disease.

Last June, Iranian officials warned about the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS infections in the country due to a surge in intravenous drug usage.

"If no action is taken against the spread of this disease as quickly as possible, the number of those infected will reach 100,000 by the end of the next Iranian year (March 2008)," said Iran's deputy health minister, Moayed Alavian.

Iran is believed to have at least two million regular drug users -- and possibly as many as 3.5 million. Alavian said addiction is growing by around eight percent a year.

Intravenous drug use is believed to be the main cause of HIV/AIDS infection at 62.3 percent, followed by "unknown causes" at 27.9 percent and sexual contact at 7.4 percent.

According to another Fars article, "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that his administration is going to publicize the country's remarkable progresses and achievements within the coming days."

Excerpts from Fars article:

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Addressing an inaugural ceremony marking the operation of 'Jegin' Dam in Bashagard in Iran's southern province of Hormozgan on Saturday, Ahmadinejad stated that bullying powers and those who pursue ill intentions always seek to destroy the free nations' feeling of self-confidence.

"The world should know today that the capable Iranian nation, relying on its own youths and scientists, has now conquered the peaks of knowledge and science," he said.

"During the current week, we are going to announce to the Iranian nation the great achievements the country has made to tell the world that when a nation decides to stand on its own feet to climb up the peaks, God helps it and that nation will embrace victory," the Iranian president further stated.

Ahmadinejad also mentioned that one such victory has been in the field of nuclear technology, and pointing to enemies' threats and the recent UN Security Council Resolution 1737 which has called for a ban on nuclear aids to Iran, he said, "Iran never expects you to help it as you have never helped nations to make progress."

The Iranian president also reiterated that the February 11 is the day when the Iranian nation's inalienable right to access and use nuclear technology will be established.

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(Compiled from wire reports)

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