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Iran investigates hundreds of poisonings at girls’ schools

Iranian officials are investigating the incidents. Associated Press/Photo by Vahid Salemi

Iran investigates hundreds of poisonings at girls’ schools

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday condemned a wave of suspected poisonings of young girls as an “unforgivable” crime punishable by death. Authorities are investigating reports of noxious gas wafting into over 50 schools throughout the country, most of which are girls’ schools. More than 1,000 students have complained of headaches, heart palpitations, and smelling chlorine since November. Concerned parents gathered on Saturday to protest in cities throughout the country, and at least 15 more schools reported incidents on Sunday.

Who might be behind the poisonings? Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Friday blamed the poisonings on unspecified enemies of the country. Local authorities have investigated, but so far no arrests have been made. Local media report many in Iran suspect the incidents could be an attempt to close schools for girls. Iranian officials last month called on the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan to reopen schools for women and girls.

Dig deeper: Read A.S. Ibrahim’s column in WORLD Opinions about how the Iranian regime has intimidated protesters.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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