In a written statement made by the Iranian Ministry of Interior, it was stated that more than 100 people were detained on suspicion of being the perpetrators of mass poisoning cases in schools in Tehran, Qom, Zincan, Khuzestan, Hamadan, Fars, Gilan, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Rezevi Khorasan.
In the statement, it was stated that some of the detainees were people with hostile motives, and that they tried to create fear and anxiety among people and students, and the investigation continues to determine whether they are connected with terrorist organizations.
It was reported that there were also people who caused poisoning by using scented and harmless substances with the intention of seeking adventure and vacationing schools.
In the statement, it was stated that the number of poisoning cases has decreased significantly since last week.
Mass poisoning cases in schools in Iran
Since November 30, 2022, there have been mass poisoning cases in schools where mostly female students are educated in Iran. The students show symptoms such as respiratory distress, nausea, headache and numbness in the limbs. More than 5,000 students have been poisoned in 238 schools so far.
Yunus Penahi, Deputy Minister of Education and Training, stated at a press conference on February 26 that they evaluated the poisoning of students as intentional, “It was determined that some people wanted all schools, especially girls’ schools, to be closed.” he said.
President İbrahim Reisi appointed Minister of Interior Ahmed Vahidi, Minister of Intelligence İsmail Hatib and Minister of Health Bahram Aynullahi on 1 March to investigate the source of suspicious cases.
In a statement on March 3, the chief said, “Today, hostilities have increased with the progress of the country, the latest example of this is the attempt to create an atmosphere of insecurity in schools and anxiety in families.” he said.
Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a statement on March 6, when the public’s anxiety increased, that he had instructed the authorities to take the incident seriously and punish the perpetrators with the most severe punishment.
Head of the Judiciary Gulam Hüseyin Muhsini Ejei also said that the perpetrators of the poisoning cases would be tried with the death penalty.
After the statements, it was announced that many people were detained in operations held in 5 states on 7 March on suspicion of being related to the events.
Reacting to the failure to prevent the cases, students and teachers protested the authorities with demonstrations in some cities of the country.