Girls’ schools across Iran have been subjected to poison gas attacks, leaving many pupils seriously ill. The girls affected have reported the smell of tangerines or rotten fish before falling ill. Hundreds have been taken to hospital suffering from respiratory problems, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.
Gas attacks have been reported in Qom, Isfahan, Tabriz, Urmia, Ilam, Shiraz and the capital, Tehran. The mullahs have lamely tried to blame foreigners, or internal opponents of the regime. Some politicians have even accused emotionally charged adolescents of making false claims about the gas attacks.
But there is mounting evidence that hardline factions within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) – the regime’s Gestapo – have been behind the assaults as a way of punishing the schoolgirls for joining the nationwide ’Women, Life, Freedom’ uprising. The regime’s brutal crackdown on the six-month uprising has resulted in more than 750 deaths and 30,000 arrests.
Parents and young protesters have taken to the streets to voice their outrage. Several mothers and fathers of poisoned schoolkids have been viciously beaten by the IRGC and their Basij militia thugs in response.
According to the semi-official Mehr government news agency, the most recent cases of the poisoning were reported in Qom last week, when 44 girls were taken to hospital. The report said that three staff members, in addition to 30 students from a girls’ high school in Urmia, were also hospitalised.
Other media reports claim that the poisonings began last November, when thousands of schoolgirls could be seen tearing off their headscarves and chanting anti-government slogans, as the uprising following the death in police custody of the young Kurdish girl, Mahsa Amini, escalated.
Iran’s interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi, stated that no deaths of school pupils resulting from the alleged gas attacks had occurred, but that “suspicious samples” had been collected from 52 schools and were being tested. His claim has been denied by the Washington-based Iran International TV news channel, which reports that an 11-year-old girl, Fatemeh Rezaei, died from gas poisoning at a school in the holy city of Qom.
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The regime’s deputy health minister, Younes Panahi, claimed that the girls had been poisoned by chemicals which “are publicly available” and “not miliary grade”. In February, a crowd of more than 100 angry parents gathered outside the governor’s office in Qom, with one father shouting: “You are obliged to ensure my children’s safety! I have two daughters and all I can do is not let them go to school.”
A video of his furious outburst has been widely circulated on social media. Another woman could be seen shouting: “This is war. They are doing this in a girls’ high school in Qom to force us to sit at home. They want girls to stay at home.” Many parents have said that their children were ill for weeks following the gas attacks. Videos on social media have shown girls lying dazed on hospital beds while their parents sit beside them.
In a sign of panic at worldwide wrath at the gas attacks, the theocratic regime’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has finally broken his silence. In a recent statement, he said: “Authorities should seriously pursue the issue of students’ poisoning. This is an unforgivable crime… the perpetrators of this crime should be severely punished.” His apparent concern has been slated on social media, with many asking why the government has failed to arrest the perpetrators of such a large and coordinated campaign, while it has been ruthlessly efficient in killing and detaining anti-government protesters.
Source » scotsman