Iran president blames overseas enemies for wave of schoolgirl poisonings – World
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Friday blamed a wave of poisonings of lots of of schoolgirls across the nation on Tehran’s enemies.
The so-far unexplained poison assaults at greater than 30 faculties in a minimum of 4 cities started in November in Iran’s holy metropolis of Qom, prompting some dad and mom to take their kids out of faculty. For the reason that outbreak of the mysterious poisonings, nearly 1,200 college students have required hospital remedy for respiratory difficulties, an Iranian lawmaker mentioned on Wednesday.
The poisonings have provoked a wave of anger throughout the nation, with critics denouncing official silence within the face of the rising variety of faculties reportedly being focused.
Iran’s well being minister mentioned on Tuesday that lots of of women in several faculties have suffered and a few politicians have instructed they might have been focused by spiritual teams opposed to women’ schooling.
Raisi, talking to a crowd in southern Iran on Friday in a speech carried dwell on state tv, blamed the poisoning on Iran’s enemies.
“It is a safety mission to trigger chaos within the nation whereby the enemy seeks to instil worry and insecurity amongst dad and mom and college students,” he mentioned.
He didn’t say who these enemies have been though Iranian leaders habitually accuse the USA and Israel, amongst others, of appearing in opposition to it.
Individually, a senior Iranian official mentioned a gasoline tanker discovered subsequent to a faculty in a Tehran suburb and which had additionally been noticed in two different cities was most likely concerned within the poisonings.
Authorities seized the tanker and arrested its driver, Reza Karimi Saleh, deputy governor of Pardis suburb, advised the semi-official Tasnim information company.
He’s the primary authorities official to report an arrest in reference to the wave of poisonings.
He mentioned the identical tanker had additionally been to Qom and Boroujerd, in Lorestan Province in western Iran, the place college students have additionally suffered from poisoning. He didn’t elaborate.
“Guards at a parking zone the place the gasoline tanker was parked additionally suffered from poisoning,” Saleh mentioned, referring to the Pardis website.
Social media posts are replete with images and movies of hospitalised ladies. Some mentioned they have been nauseous and suffered coronary heart palpitations.
Others complained of complications or coronary heart palpitations. Reuters couldn’t confirm the posts.
Schoolgirls have additionally taken half within the anti-government protests triggered by the death within the custody of an Iranian-Kurdish girl final September. They’ve eliminated their necessary hijabs in school rooms, torn up footage of Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and referred to as for his loss of life.
In a single on-line video final yr, schoolgirls have been seen waving their headscarves within the air and heckling a member of Iran’s paramilitary Basij pressure.
Germany, UN call for Iran school poisonings investigation
The United Nations backed a call from Germany’s top diplomat on Friday urging a full and transparent investigation into the reported poisoning.
“The reports of schoolgirls being poisoned in Iran are shocking,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Twitter.
“Girls must be able to go to school without fear — whether in Tehran or Ardabil. This is nothing less than their human right,” Baerbock said.
“All the cases must be fully investigated,” she said.
In Geneva on Friday, the UN rights office also voiced alarm at the poisoning allegations.
“We are very concerned about these allegations that girls are being deliberately targeted under what appear to be mysterious circumstances,” spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters.
The UN rights office wants any investigation into the cases to be “transparent and the findings are made public, to bring the perpetrators to justice”.
World Health Organisation spokeswoman Margaret Harris meanwhile said the UN health agency was in contact with national health authorities and medical professionals about the incidents and was “using other means to understand more about the event so that we have better evidence”.