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Iranian Govt Blames Protest Leaders for 'Poisoning Attacks'

Iranian Govt Blames Protest Leaders for 'Poisoning Attacks'

Wednesday, 15 March, 2023 - 09:30
Hundreds of cases of respiratory distress have been reported in the past three months among schoolgirls across Iran (AFP)

The Iranian government accused the protest leaders of the mystery poisoning incidents in schools, affecting thousands of female students.

Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi blamed the protesters for creating tensions in girls' schools and a tense atmosphere, but they failed.

Asked about the investigation of the follow-up committee ordered by the Iranian president, the spokesman said that the situation has stabilized in schools, adding that these brutal attacks revealed the truth about some people who claim to support and develop women.

Judiciary Spokesman Masoud Setayeshi criticized the description of the attacks as "poisoning," saying it was better to use a term that describes the deterioration in health. He indicated that poisoning must have determined symptoms identified by the specialized laboratories.

Setayeshi said that the authorities arrested eight people in the southern Fars governorate in connection with the attacks that began at the end of November.

He added that the investigation results would be announced, asserting that those who threaten the security of the people will face the most severe penalties.

Meanwhile, senior officials used the word "poisoning," including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, when referring to the incidents.

Khamenei said on Monday that poisoning schoolgirls are an "unforgivable" crime that should be punished by death if deliberate.

Iranian official sources said that the mysterious cases of poisoning in the country amounted to 13,000 suspected cases, including 100 young schoolgirls, who are now receiving treatment in hospitals, according to Tasnim news agency affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Last Saturday, the Human Rights Committee of the Iranian judiciary said in a report that less than 10 percent of the female students were infected with an irritant of dangerous and non-lethal war gases.

Furthermore, a member of the parliamentary fact-finding committee, Mohammed Hasan Asafari, said that the main culprits in the case had not been arrested, noting that some of the poisonings were due to the use of "naphthalene" and "aluminum phosphide.",

Asafari that some cases were due to the students' attempts to disrupt the school day, noting that 100 persons have been arrested, including students.

He told the state-run ISNA news agency that some detainees were linked to the recent protests that rocked the country after the death of a young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of morality police.

The lawmaker said that the involvement of the foreign intelligence services is still not apparent, and the matter is under investigation.

Asfari confirmed the attacks dropped after the Supreme Leader's speech last week.

On Monday, the Interior Ministry said that more than 100 people involved in the recent school incidents had been identified, arrested, and under investigation.

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