'Death to the Child-Killing Regime': Iranians Expose Brutal Chemical Attacks on Schoolgirls
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Anger is growing in Iran following a series of toxic chemical attacks against Iranian schoolgirls. Across the Islamic republic, mysterious gas has been used to poison hundreds of students in numerous cities. Schools that educate girls are the primary targets.
More than 1,200 students have been hospitalized since the attacks began in late November in Qom, near the capital Tehran. While most of the targets are girls' schools, Reuters notes that at least one boys' school in western Iran was also hit.
Some local media report students saying they saw strange objects landing in schoolyards.
Eyewitnesses add that loud bangs are being heard too.
"First, we heard a sound like an explosion, and then the school officials said the students felt sick, and ambulances came," one eyewitness said.
For months, school authorities, the health ministry, and other government bodies either denied or downplayed the incidents.
Those opposing the regime call the attacks a "revenge" tactic against young Iranian women taking the lead in the revolutionary movement that erupted across Iran in September.
Foruq Kanani, a civil activist, states another theory: "To take attention from the European tour of the crown prince of Iran, Prince Reza Pahlavi." That tour is meant to raise awareness among European politicians about the conditions in Iran.
Prince Reza Pahlavi said, "That's why I keep saying to the whole world, while there's still time without having to resort to more radical measures to eliminate the threat, you already have the most immediate natural army in place, which are the Iranian people, right here, right now, fighting the fight."
Last year, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei demanded punishment for those involved in the uprising.
Kanani tells CBN News that could be the motive for these attacks. "Khamenei said the punishment for teenagers would be special because they're aware of what they are doing. That's probably a so-called fatwa for many Islamists to follow that. And now it's, as I mentioned, kind of taking revenge on the teenagers, especially schoolgirls," he said.
While several officials have tried to blame foreign "enemies" for the attacks, families of students believe the real enemy is their own government. They gathered in one Tehran school chanting "death to the child-killing regime."
Meanwhile, widespread footage from social media shows a concerned mother being brutally attacked by plainclothes security forces for demanding answers about her poisoned daughter.
Other parents demanded to know why school security cameras were off when the poison gas spread.
Kanani believes the authorities could find the attackers if they wanted.
He said, "Everywhere there are cameras, and they can take them if they want. Considering the current Iranian revolution, many of the specific protesters were caught and arrested by taking the cameras not only in the streets, which were literally for the regime, but also from the shops and business owners in the streets."
While the perpetrators' intent remains unclear, many believe it is the payback for the young women fighting against the regime and a deliberate attempt to force their schools to shut down.
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