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The Lobby Versus Science

By       Message Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Tragic as war is, it has often led to scientific and medical discoveries. Today in Washington AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the pro-Israeli Lobby group, is using science as a pretext for war. They claim that Iran's significant scientific achievements are a global threat to peace and Iran's need for enriched uranium for medical research is unfounded. Dissemination of such misinformation is akin to the very cancer that the Iranian scientists have been attempting to cure and stem out for decades.

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In 1972, a joint research project (French-Iranian scholars) on esophageal cancer in the Caspian Littoral of Iran was released. The findings bought to light that the region had among the highest recorded incidences of esophageal cancer [1] in the world. The research indicated that owing to its location, the high rate of esophageal cancer was not unique to Iran but represented the Middle East, China, Afghanistan, and former Soviet central Asia, parts of Siberia, Mongolia, and northern and western China [i].

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Perhaps it is with this in mind that almost four decades later, in 2007-2009, US National Institute of Cancer sponsored the study of esophageal cancer in Iran [ii]. Later, with "health diplomacy" in mind, Iran and the United States, with foresight and fortitude by the National Institute of Health's mission of Science for Health , concentrated on three areas of cooperation: 1) Esophageal Cancer; 2) Mustard Gas Exposure and Lung Carcinogenesis; 3) HIV and drug use.[iii] It is not without irony that Iran's research and expertise in mustard gas injuries should be the direct result of America's policies during the 8-year Iran-Iraq war when the U.S. decided to arm Saddam Hussein with CBTW (chemical, biological, toxin warfare)[iv] material.

Today, in order to wage another war against Iranians and to ensure that Iran shares Iraq's fate, the argument presented by the Lobby and trumpeted by the neoconservative-dominated media is that Iran, a country rich in oil does not need to enrich uranium. Before one responds that it is Iran's right under the NPT, it would be more simple to demand that the neoconservatives explain why other countries place such high demand on radioisotopes - a derivative of enriched uranium?

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In 1959, Science reported that radioisotopes have always been a source for "scientific research, and their application to such activities as agriculture, industry, and medicine is now steadily increasing"[v] Today, there is a dire shortage of radioisotopes. On July 26, 2009, The Houston Chronicle reported that a drug crucial to medical tests was in short supply. This was due to the loss of the 51-year-old reactor in Ontario, Canada that produces much of this drug.

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Soraya has lived and studied in-Iran, UK, France, and has obtained her Master's degree in Public Diplomacy from USC Annenberg and USC School for International Studies, Los Angeles.- She is an independent researcher, public speaker, radio (more...)

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