The crisis of suspected poisonings against Iranian schoolgirls has escalated to over 50 schools across Iran.
The poisonings began in November, and reports indicate that schools in 21 of Iran’s 30 provinces have seen suspected cases, with girls’ schools being the site of almost all the incidents.
As a result, parents are growing increasingly concerned, and the authorities are struggling to identify those responsible for the attacks. Iran has been calling on the Taliban to allow girls and women to return to school and universities in neighboring Afghanistan.
Videos of affected schoolchildren and their parents have flooded social media, and the crisis remains challenging to comprehend. The suspected poisoning has reportedly affected at least 400 schoolchildren, and two girls remain hospitalized due to underlying chronic conditions.
The Iranian authorities have called for calm, while accusing “enemy media terrorism” of inciting panic over the poisonings. The possibility of exile groups or foreign powers being behind the poisonings has been speculated, but no evidence has been produced to support the claims.