The unusual explanation of the Iranian regime for the poisoning of female students: “Collective hysteria”

A protest against the poisoning of school girls in Iran (Diego Radames/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

The Iranian intelligence ministry claimed that there have been no gas poisonings in women’s schools and blamed the incidents in the educational centers on the own studentsto the “mass hysteria” and the “enemies” from the country.

No toxic substances were disseminated in any school in the country”, affirmed Iranian Intelligence after carrying out an investigation that included laboratory analysis, according to a statement, collected this Saturday by the agency More.

The authorities further stated that there have been no deaths or long-term effects from the alleged gas attacks which began in women’s educational centers in November in the city of Qom and multiplied in the following months throughout the country.

More than 100 girls’ schools suffered these incidents and some 13,000 students have received medical care with symptoms such as coughing, breathing difficulties, throat irritation, headaches, nausea or vomiting, according to Amnesty International (AI).

The Intelligence Ministry attributed the attacks to “stink bombs”, “pepper spray” and other “stink agents” and stated that there were students who “faked” the symptoms to “skip class” or “cause a disturbance”.

All this also causeda collective hysteria”, prompted by “dissidents” and “enemies of the country” on social networks to provoke fear, the closure of schools and the anger of parents against the Islamic Republic.

A young woman in hospital following reports of poisoning at an unspecified location in Iran in this March 2, 2023 video grab (WANA/Reuters TV via REUTERS)
A young woman in hospital following reports of poisoning in an unspecified location in Iran in this video capture from March 2, 2023 (WANA/Reuters TV via REUTERS) (REUTERS TV/)

Authorities said that “members of cyber networks” who played a role “in spreading the panic” have been detained.

Likewise, Intelligence affirmed that “the enemies of the country”, with which reference is usually made to the United States and Israel, had an “obvious and indisputable” role in the alleged attacks.

“Also politicians and foreign institutions and international organizations played a role in the conflict,” said the Ministry.

In addition, he related the incidents in schools with the protests sparked by September death of Mahsa Aminiafter being arrested for not wearing the Islamic veil properly.

There was an inverse relationship between the decline in riots (protests) and the rapid increase in incidents (in schools)”, according to Intelligence.

The poisonings in schools caused new tensions in the country and some parents linked them to the protests with a marked feminist tone in recent months, which had calmed down after strong state repression.

The students of schools and institutes participated in these protests, took off their veils, shouted “woman, life, freedom” and made contemptuous gestures at portraits of Khamenei and the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruholá Khomeini.

(With information from EFE)

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