A scene outside a girls' school in Iran on March 3, 2023

Chemical Attacks Continue On Students In Iran As Regime Blames The West

Saturday, 03/04/2023

Chemical attacks on girl's schools in Iran continued on Saturday with reports saying students in at least 16 elementary and high schools were poisoned.

A large number of students have been taken to hospital and based on published reports, the type of toxic substances used in the attacks has been identified.

The wave of intentional poisoning of female students, which started in November in the religious city of Qom, spread further throughout the country and reached schools in small towns and villages on Saturday.

Reports say female students of elementary and high schools in Tehran, Qom, Pakdasht, Karaj, Urmia, Zanjan, Hamedan, Safadasht, Shahriyar, and Rasht were taken to hospitals after being poisoned.

Tasnim News Agency, affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards, reported that at least 30 students at a school in Urmia in the northwest were transferred to medical centers in the city.

Attacks on schools in the past days were not only limited to female students, and reports also said that a group of male students were poisoned on Saturday following a chemical attack on a primary school in Karaj in the vicinity of Tehran.

Three months into the serial poisoning of students, not only the perpetrators of the chemical attacks have not been identified, but the attacks have spread to more cities.

Morteza Khatami, Vice-Chairman of the Parliament's Health and Treatment Commission, claimed on Saturday that students are poisoned by a combination of several types of gases.

It was previously announced that N2 gas was the cause of poisonings, but Khatami stated “N2 gas does not explain the symptoms and clinical manifestations, but other gases have symptoms that justify the numbness of the body.”

Nausea, vomiting, cough, shortness of breath, etc. are the symptoms Khatami mentioned adding that "according to clinical evidence, the students who were poisoned had unstable and short-term poisonings, but their tests were normal."

In the past days, many parents and some political and religious figures, including Sunni Imam of Zahedan,Mowlavi Abdolhamid have called the “deliberate” poisoning of female students to be a government project to take revenge on them for participating in the nationwide uprising after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini in September.

Security forces attacking parents outside schools in Tehran

Some others believe the aim of such attacks was to make girls and women stay at home, depriving them from education and any other social activity.

However, the Islamic Republic authorities and the state media are trying to blame their opponents for the biological terror of schoolgirls.

Kayhan hardline newspaper, in its report on Saturday, called the serial poisonings "a new phase of the hybrid war by the West and its Iranian allies against the Islamic Republic.”

Meanwhile, a group of protesting citizens and parents of poisoned students gathered in front of the education department in various cities including Tehran, Esfahan, Kermanshah and Ardebil on Saturday. Condemning the poisoning of female students, they chanted slogans against Iran’s ruler Ali Khamenei and senior government officials.

Reports say following the protests, dozens of people were arrested in different cities, and many were beaten by security forces and regime plainclothes mercenaries.

The families of some students in Tehran gathered outside the education ministry’s headquarters in protest and chanted the slogan like "Death to the Taliban, whether in Iran or Afghanistan".

The country's interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi, an ex-IRGC top officer wanted by Interpol for his part in the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, has been tasked with leading the investigation, though has so far denied any foul play.

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