Suspects in five provinces have been arrested in connection with the mysterious wave of poisoning in Iran. This was reported by the Fars news agency on Tuesday, citing the Deputy Interior Minister responsible for the security forces, Majid Mirahmadi. There was initially no more precise information on the number of arrests and the background of the suspects.
On Monday, Iran's religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for severe punishment for those responsible for the wave of poisoning. Khamenei, who has the final say in all strategic matters in Iran, commented for the first time on the nationwide wave of poisoning. He called it an "unforgivable crime".
The first cases of the mysterious poisoning were reported back in November. Iran's government assumes targeted attacks. Schools for girls are almost exclusively affected. Schoolgirls were being treated in hospitals across the country. Parents and relatives are outraged and angry. They accuse the authorities of failure and blame them. Doctors speak of gas poisoning.
Iranian media have now documented more than 2,500 cases of poisoning in schools. This was the result of an evaluation of reports that appeared in the Iranian media from November to early March. There are currently no official figures from the authorities on the overall extent of the wave of poisoning. Observers also assume that there are unreported cases.