In recent weeks, Iran has experienced a disturbing trend of poisoning incidents that have affected many schoolgirls across the country. According to reports, hundreds of young girls have been hospitalized after exposure to toxic substances, and tragically, some have even lost their lives.
This disturbing situation has led to widespread public outrage and protests throughout Iran, with many people criticizing the government’s inadequate response and lack of concern for the welfare of these vulnerable children. Instead of taking decisive action to protect their health and safety, the regime has downplayed the severity of the crisis and denied that the poisonings had even occurred.
The root cause of these poisonings remains unclear, although there are reports suggesting that the girls may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals or N2 gas within their school buildings. Despite this uncertainty, one thing is clear: urgent and effective measures must be taken to prevent further harm to these young students.
According to reports from affected students, a sulfurous odor similar to that of eggs was detected during the release of the toxic gas. Additionally, there have been reports of other noxious smells such as rotten mandarin or bleach, which can also indicate the presence of dangerous gases. It appears that a combination of gases was used in these incidents, suggesting that the perpetrators were highly knowledgeable and skilled in their methods. It is unlikely that such substances would be accessible to the general public, indicating a deliberate and coordinated effort.
This heinous crime has become a widespread issue, with even state media outlets such as Etemad daily criticize the government’s handling of the crisis. In a scathing editorial, the publication called out officials for their lack of transparency, stating: “Shame on you! What kind of announcement of names is this that contains such a huge crime?! Why are you withholding information and refusing to identify the perpetrators? These people must have been known to you, given that you are officially announcing their involvement. If they are not known, why don’t you release their names and addresses? Instead of providing adequate info why don’t you release their names and addresses if they are unknowable.”
The scale and severity of these incidents indicate that the regime has not fully considered the ramifications of committing such a heinous crime. Merely using the term ‘poisoning’ fails to fully capture the gravity of the situation, as this can only be described as a deliberate and premeditated ‘chemical attack’ on innocent schoolgirls.
It is difficult to comprehend why a government would resort to such a horrific act, targeting and harming vulnerable children. However, it is clear that this crime serves a greater agenda, which is to create a climate of fear and terror among women and girls and their families, in order to intimidate and dissuade them from engaging in public protests and challenging the regime’s authority.
The regime’s ultimate goal appears to be the isolation and suppression of the women of the country, particularly students who have been at the forefront of recent protests and have played a crucial role in advocating for change. By attacking these young girls, the regime hopes to discourage further dissent and subdue any potential opposition to their rule.
Prior to the 2022 protests, the regime relied heavily on the morality police to intimidate and control women. However, in the face of growing resistance and pushback from women, the regime was forced to find alternative means to suppress them and prevent them from taking a leading role in the protests.
In its desperation to maintain its grip on power, the regime has increased its heinous crimes against women, both in terms of scale and cruelty. What is even more concerning is the lack of political will within the regime to address and confront these crimes.
When examining the public speeches and statements of regime officials, it becomes clear that there are powerful forces at work behind the scenes, driving these brutal attacks on women. For example, Ahmad Alamolhoda, a notorious regime cleric known for his inflammatory rhetoric and hostility towards women, has made several disturbing comments that appear to encourage violence and aggression against them.
“They have created such an atmosphere, that whenever a governing body acts in this field, it is as if the government’s main priority is the hijab,” Alamalhoda said. “And based on this, the system’s security authority can no longer act in this field. In the issue of hijab, all of you brothers and sisters should stand up and confront the trend of unveiling.”
Clearly, he is encouraging the regime’s supporters to attack the people. Looking at another comment published by the state-run daily Arman-e Meli gives us a clearer vision of the regime’s objectives:
“A look at the conditions of hijab in the society after the death of Mahsa Amini, the question arises whether it is possible to return the hijab of some women and girls to the state before September 16, 2022.
“Some people might be led to think that dealing with female students must be done on purpose so that they should think about appropriate clothing from now on, and the origin of it is high schools.”
These statements reveal the regime’s intention to use violence and fear to enforce their strict dress code on women and girls and to prevent any challenge to their authority. The regime’s officials are willing to go to great lengths to achieve their objectives, even if it means poisoning innocent schoolgirls.
Concluding some statements clarifies our meaning:
- This crime is organized, orchestrated, and executed by a centralized authority. As the state-run daily Shargh clarified: “Such a complex and large operation, which includes dozens of all-girl high schools in different cities, cannot be the work of one person. Preparation of poisonous substances, hiding them, spreading them in the environment, acting in different cities, etc. are the elements based on which it should be concluded that the poisoning of girls is a group and organized operation.”
- The orchestrators and executors of the crime have free rein in execution. It means they are supported by the government. Otherwise, we would have faced another approach by the regime. “Digital devices and cameras prevent the least concealment. Let’s assume that the initial scenes in the schools that were hit for the first time were hidden from the sharp eyes of security and city cameras. But since the day when the circle of this kind of action expanded, it is no longer seemly for the security and judicial officials to look for clues and discover the truth,” state-run daily Arman-e Meli wrote.
- The heads of the regime have either kept silent about this crime or if they are forced to take a position under the pressure of public opinion, they generally make vague statements. State-run daily Ham Mihan wrote: “The silence of the government and Mr. President and the heads of the branches is regretful. They should reconsider this issue.” And state-run daily Resalat wrote: “Stating some issues and then denying them, shows that the officials’ statements are contradictory and have not come to a conclusion in a common think tank.”
- The purpose of this crime, according to the regime’s media, is to close all-girl schools and to get rid of the hotbed of the protests.
These actions are not only a blatant violation of human rights and the fundamental principles of justice and morality, but they also pose a serious threat to the safety and security of Iran’s citizens. It is imperative that the international community takes a strong stance against these atrocities and holds the regime accountable for its crimes.