A True Nightmare in Iran: Dozens of Schoolgirls in a Hospital After Poisoning
A True Nightmare in Iran: Dozens of Schoolgirls in a Hospital After Poisoning

Dozens of schoolgirls in Iran were admitted to hospital on Tuesday after a mysterious poisoning, an Iranian news agency has reported, in the latest in a spate of suspected attacks.

Hundreds of cases of respiratory distress have been reported in the past three months among Iranian schoolgirls, mainly in the city of Qom, south of Tehran, with some needing hospital treatment.

A government official said on Sunday that the attacks were believed to be a deliberate attempt to force the closure of girls’ schools.

“Today at noon, a number of students were poisoned at the Khayyam girls’ school in the city of Pardis, Tehran province,” the Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.

The agency said 35 students had been transferred to hospital so far, adding to the hundreds of cases of poisoning since November in at least two other cities, including Qom.

Iranian high school girls wearing face masks attend a class at the Bamdad Parsi private school during the first day of reopening schools, north of Tehran, Iran, 05 September 2020.

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The poisonings come more than five months into protests that spread across Iran over the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest for an alleged violation of the country’s strict dress code for women.

On Sunday, students at a girls’ school in Borujerd were rushed to hospital after a similar incident, the fourth in the western city within the past week.

Iran’s parliament held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the suspected attacks in the presence of the health minister, Bahram Eynollahi, the official IRNA news agency reported.

IRNA quoted the parliament’s speaker, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, as saying that both Qom and Borujerd were “dealing with student poisonings”.

On Sunday, Iran’s deputy health minister, Younes Panahi, said some people had been poisoned at a girls’ school in Qom with the aim of shutting down education for girls.

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