Iran Supreme Leader says poisoning of schoolgirls is an ‘unforgivable’ crime

A handout picture provided by the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on November 19, 2022, shows him in the capital Tehran, addressing a group of Iranians from the central city of Isfahan. (Khamenei.ir via AFP)

Iran’s supreme leader said on Monday that poisoning of Iranian schoolgirls in recent months is an “unforgivable” crime amid spread of suspected poisoning across the country with hundreds of girls hospitalized.

“Authorities should seriously pursue the issue of students’ poisoning. This is an unforgivable crime… the perpetrators of this crime should be severely punished,” Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying by state media.

Over a thousand Iranian girls in different schools have suffered “mild poison” attacks since November, according to state media and officials, with some politicians suggesting they could have been targeted by religious groups opposed to girls’ education.

The spreading attacks that started in November in the holy Shia Muslim city of Qom in central Iran have spread to at least 25 of Iran’s 31 provinces, prompting some parents to take their children out of school and hold protests against the establishment.

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