Schoolgirls Poisoned in Iran: US Calls for Accountability of Those Responsible for Wave of Attacks

USA asked this Wednesday to render accounts authors of the wave of poisonings with gas in Iranian girls’ collegesbefore new cases with hundreds of young people affected.

“We hope that the Iranian authorities will fully investigate these reported poisonings and do everything in their power to stop them and hold their perpetrators accountable,” said the US State Department spokesman, ned priceat a press conference.

Hundreds of students were hospitalized this Wednesday after suffering eye irritation, dizziness and headaches by poisoning in eight schools and institutes in the city of Ardebil, three schools in Tehran, one in Parand and another in Kermanshah, the reformist daily Shargh reported.

These new cases are added to the at least 30 gas poisonings registered in female educational centers since November in the Persian country.

Price called these cases “disturbing” and “concerning” and defended that education is a universal right that the girls of Iran should have, since it is something “essential to advance the economic security of women and make gender equality a reality.”

The girls had to be hospitalized (Iran News Updates)

The President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisigave instructions to the Minister of the Interior, Ahmad Vahidí, and the Ministry of Health to investigate “quickly” the causes of the poisonings.

Many parents of the affected students protested at the school gates and asked for explanations, even shouting “Death to the government that murders children.”

Meanwhile, the security forces continue to find no clues and doubt whether they are deliberate attacks or mere accidents.

The first case of poisoning was registered at the end of November in the holy city of qoma town that has suffered the greatest number of cases, and in recent weeks they have multiplied in several cities in the country.

The wave of poisonings in girls’ schools comes at a time of great tension in Iran, which has been rocked in recent months by protests over the death of the young woman. Mahsa Aminiafter being arrested for not wearing the Islamic veil properly.

These protests have had a strong feminist component, with many Iranians removing their headscarves and even burning them.

The protests, however, have lost strength significantly after the executions of four protesters and in recent weeks there have hardly been any mobilizations in the streets of Iran.

Authorities have announced that most of the girls hospitalized today have been discharged.

“The students smelled a gas similar to that of other schools that have suffered poisoning,” he told shargh the president of the Ardebil University of Medical Sciences, Ali Mohammedian Erdi.

As in previous cases, they claimed to have perceived a smell between a mixture of rotten orange and cleaning products.

(With information from EFE)

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