Iranian authorities are investigating an incident in which underage schoolgirls were poisoned with toxic gas back in November 2022. So far, no deaths have been reported but, of the more than 800 poisoned, dozens of them have had to be hospitalized for respiratory and stomach problems, dizziness, and fatigue.
Chemical attack on school girls in Iran.
After Anti-forced hijab protest in Iran and anti regime uprising, Now hundreds of school girls are being poisoned in Iran to stop them from protesting, Iranian deputy minister admits.
The authorities found that some people are poisoning… https://t.co/ErLQuaxviw pic.twitter.com/eqFzt4P4vO
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) February 28, 2023
These attacks occurred mainly in the city of Qom, near Tehran. It is believed that the attacks were carried out to force schools to close in the more radical sectors that support the Islamist regime. The first wave of poisonings took place on November 30: 18 female students from the Nour Technical School had to be hospitalized for poisoning.
Apart from Qom, more than 200 girls were poisoned in schools throughout the cities of Borujerd and Pardis. Since then, there have been several protests in front of schools as shown in the following video.
“Woman Life Freedom”
School girls goatherd in front of their school in the city of Tehran after being under chemical attack and changing slogans to show their anger.
More than 800 students in tens of schools have been poisoned.#MahsaAminipic.twitter.com/j8kQtSh6zf
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) March 1, 2023
Last week, Mohamad Jafar Montazeri, Iran's Prosecutor General, announced that an investigation will be opened into the matter to clear up the facts, although initial indications indicate "criminal and premeditated acts." The National Police headquarters did not confirm any arrests and "they are trying to address the fears of citizens."
These poisonings are a new way of oppressing women and girls. Iran's former Vice President for Women's and Family Affairs, Massoumeh Ebtekar, condemned the attacks which she said are done on purpose to prevent girls from attending school or working:
Stop this oppression!
Banning women & girls from education & work is contrary to Islam. It is rooted in“holy ignorance” & aims at demonizing religious teachings. All women have right to study & work according to Quran & teachings of Prophet(S).#Taliban #LetHerLearn #LetHerWork pic.twitter.com/qIFmjzJbK4
— Massoumeh Ebtekar (@ebtekarm) December 30, 2022
Theories about poisonings
While the cause of these poisonings is still under investigation, the BBC has several theories about the origin of the poisonings. Many people believe it is due to the massive protests that followed the death of Mahsa Amini in September of last year. There is speculation that these poisonings are a form of "revenge" against those who protested against the Iranian Islamist regime and the morality police.
Others theorize that the motive is to provoke fear among parents so that they will not take their daughters to school. Poisonings are a practice carried out by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria.