Iran schoolgirls being deliberately poisoned, claims senior minister. Here's why
An Iranian deputy minister has claimed that "some people" were poisoning schoolgirls in Qom to put a halt to education for girls, state media reported. The holy city of Qom has reported hundreds of cases of respiratory poisoning among schoolgirls since late November. The city that lies south of Tehran has also seen several hospitalisations for the poisonings.
The explosive confirmation came from deputy health minister, Younes Panahi, on Sunday.
"After the poisoning of several students in Qom schools, it was found that some people wanted all schools, especially girls' schools, to be closed," the IRNA state news agency quoted him as saying.
No arrests have been made in the matter till now.
An IRNA report said that on February 14, parents of students who had fallen ill due to the poisoning had gathered outside the city's governorate to "demand an explanation".
Government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi came out the next day to say that the intelligence and education ministries were trying to find the cause of the poisonings.
Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has also ordered a judicial probe into the incidents.
The news comes as Iran has been rocked by protests over Mahsa Amini's death since her custodial death on September 16 after being arrested by the morality police. She was allegedly not wearing the hijab properly. Her death triggered countrywide protests unlike any seen since the 1970s.