Was the mullah regime involved in the poisoning of female students?
Hundreds of schoolgirls in Iran were poisoned, sparking a state of panic and fear, while the students' families accused the government of negligence and failure to provide girls with safety.
Iranian Health Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said that the girls were indeed poisoned, but the poison was “mild,” accusing politicians and extremist groups of poisoning the girls due to their opposition of female education.
According to the IRNA news agency, the minister confirmed that the investigators found suspicious samples that are being analyzed to find out the real reason behind the girls' poisoning, and after the investigations, the results will be published as soon as possible.
So far, injuries have exceeded a thousand during the past three months only, according to a field report published by the BBC.
The report stressed that the cause of the poisoning is likely to be the use of toxic gases, adding that last week witnessed the peak of injuries, with poisoning cases appearing in 26 schools across Iran.
The symptoms of poisoning were similar in all cases, ranging from respiratory problems to a feeling of vomiting and nausea.
The BBC stated that it analyzed video clips posted on social media that show the girls screaming in pain, some of whom were transported in ambulances, and others lay on hospital beds, while most of the families accused security agencies of being involved in the matter to cause panic among the residents and make them stop girls from going to school.
Despite the Iranian health minister's claim that there were no complications from these poisons, news spread of the death of a number of female students. Abdul Hamid Ismail Zahi, the leader of the Sunnis in Iran, posted on Twitterer criticizing the poisoning of female students, describing it as an inhumane, hostile to Islam, against the education of women, and an act of revenge for their recent uprising against the regime.
Authorities’ claims and US response
In light of the state of panic spreading among the students’ parents, the investigators went out on Monday, March 6, to confirm that the reason behind more than 90% of the students feeling symptoms of poisoning and shortness of breath was due to their anxiety about studies.
The US State Department commented, saying that the poisoning of the Iranian students was “unconscionable”.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that reports of poisoning Iranian school girls are “unconscionable,” calling for the formation of an international fact-finding mission since it was found that the poisoning cases may be related to the participation of women and girls in the recent protests.
Price stressed that the entire world is very concerned about the poisonings that have occurred and that the Iranian authorities should stop suppressing the media and allow them to do their work, and the same applies to professionals and to parents who are trying to take care of their children, adding that there must be accountability for these poisonings, which, most importantly, must end.
Political analyst Nabil Abdel Nabi said that the Iranian authorities accusing extremist groups in the case of poisoning schoolgirls is nothing but deception from the truth, because the only party that benefits is the Iranian authorities themselves.
In a statement to the Reference, Abdel Nabi pointed out that the Iranian government has committed many violations against women and girls lately due to their participation in the demonstrations and their rejection of the political regime, adding that Tehran wants to silence women's free voice by restricting their movement and closing girls’ schools to prevent them from moving freely and taking part in any demonstrations. However, he noted that the matter backfired, as the state of anger increased in the Iranian street after these poisoning cases.
Attempts to control youth
Mohammad Ebadi, a researcher specializing in Iranian affairs, confirmed that the poisoning in schools is an attempt by extremist groups close to the Iranian regime to control the young generation and prevent them from learning and speaking.
He added in statements to the Reference that the government is covering up for those involved because they are fanatical clerics who support the regime, which has been facing anti-government protests for months that it has been unable to silence, so the regime does not want to confront the perpetrators and lose their support.
Ebadi pointed out that the direct goal behind these incidents is for parents to hesitate to send their daughters to schools so that the popular demonstrations coming out of schools will disappear. He added that this is the way of thinking of some extremist elements in many cities, especially the Shiite holy city of Qom, as this malicious campaign spread remarkably.