In Iran, the mystery persists about the poisoning of young girls

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In Iran, the mystery persists about the poisoning of young girls

A young woman bedridden in hospital after reports of poisoning at an unspecified location in Iran, still from video from March 2, 2023.

The case of poisoned schoolgirls continued Sunday to raise doubts and concerns in Iran, where new cases were listed in several regions, while the origin of these poisonings remained mysterious.

Day after day, the phenomenon repeats itself: students in girls' schools breathe in unpleasant or unfamiliar odors and then show symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath and dizziness.

Some of them are briefly hospitalized, but none have so far been seriously affected.

On Sunday, new poisonings were reported in two girls' high schools in the cities of Abhar and Ahvaz, but also at a primary school in Zanjan, according to the Isna news agency, citing local health officials.

Schoolgirls have also been poisoned in schools in the holy city of Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan, according to the Mehr and Ilna agencies.

In total, several hundred gas poisoning cases have been reported in more than 52 establishments in the past 3 months, according to the official count.

“A very bad smell spread all of a sudden, I felt bad and fell on the floor.

— Schoolgirl testifying on television

Parastou, a high school student from Boroujerd, told Ham Mihan newspaper that she was hospitalized after feeling nausea and severe pain in her chest.

A doctor doctor at the hospital in this city explained that most of the students had symptoms of headaches, respiratory problems, lethargy, nausea and low blood pressure.

Alarmed, the mother of a student urged authorities to install cameras in front of the establishments and guard the door to know who enters and who leaves in order to protect the children.

In several cities, parents of students have mobilized in this way, asking the authorities to act without delay.

During a meeting with the Minister of Education in Qom, Grand Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli called on officials to resolve the problem as soon as possible in order to reassure the nation.

“It is frightening that the origin of the poisoning of the students has not yet been determined. »

— Grand Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli, Minister of Education

Last week, an official from the Ministry of Health explained that some individuals were seeking, in carrying out such actions, to close all schools, especially girls' schools.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi reported on Saturday evening the discovery of suspicious samples during field searches, but he did not give more details allowing us to confirm the results. identify the substances used.

For his part, President Ebrahim Raïsi on Friday asked the Ministries of the Interior and Intelligence to foil the enemy's plot who wants to sow fear, insecurity and despair.

Civil Defense chief General Gholamreza Jalali said Sunday that schools across the country were in a social panic.

“I'm not saying the poisonings aren't real, but instilling general fear could dramatically increase the number of casualties.

—General Gholamreza Jalali, Head of Civil Defense

Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi accused the perpetrators of the attack. poisoning girls for wanting to close schools, but also for blaming the system in order to rekindle the extinguished flame of the riots.

He was thus referring to the protest movement sparked in Iran by the death, on September 16, of Mahsa Amini, a young woman detained by the morality police who accused her of having violated the strict dress code imposing in particular on women the wearing of the veil.

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