Dozens of female students in at least 26 schools in Iran have been taken to hospital for treatment due to another suspicious wave of toxic gas attacks, international media reported.
Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has reported that symptoms of the hospitalized schoolgirls are due to exam fear and anxiety, and accused foreign-based and “mercenary groups” of taking advantage of the situation to wage psychological war and worry ordinary people, New York Times reported.
Female students below the age of 18 in at least ten cities in Iran have been reportedly poisoned, and the symptoms of the sickness have been seen among all the hospitalized schoolgirls. They have suffered respiratory problems, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue, according to official reports.
According to New York Times, the first case was identified in the City of Qom in November, and then gradually expanded to schools in other cities across Iran.
Students in Qom had said that initially, they smelled suspicious chloride in the school atmosphere and then they started to experience dizziness, breathing problems, increased heart rate, nausea, and numbness in their bodies.
Following the outbreak of the disease in multiple cities of Iran, many Iranians suspect the poisonings are a deliberate attempt to force girls’ schools to close. Furthermore, some believe that schoolgirls may have been targeted for taking part in recent anti-government protests, which sparked worldwide condemnations.
Alireza Monadi, Head of Iran Parliament’s education committee on Tuesday said that a group of people attempted the stop girls from going to schools. Lawmaker Monadi described the suspicious poisoning of school girls as “a deliberate attack”, and has said that 30 toxicologists from the ministry of health has rooted the toxic gas in Iranian schools as nitrogen gas.
This comes as the general public in nationwide protests took on the streets and wanted to topple the Islamic Regime of Iran – in which school girls and women participated in large numbers across Iran.