Iran to investigate attacks against schools for girls
Hiroshi Saito and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran is ordering an investigation against attacks at roughly thirty schools for girls. At the moment, the culprits or reasons behind these attacks remain vague.
However, with females attacked in remote areas of Pakistan and a blanket ban in Afghanistan by Sunni Islamist mindsets – the fear is a possible Islamist angle.
Yet, despite recent convulsions in Iran related to the dress code and many deaths – including many young females who oppose the Shia Islamic theocracy of Iran; the government openly encourages female education, including at the university level.
The Sunni Islamist angle is mainly negated – unless influencing extremist Shia Muslims – because the first known attacks happened in the Shia holy city of Qom.
The BBC reports, “Research by BBC Persian established that at least 830 students, mostly schoolgirls, had been poisoned as of Sunday, while a member of parliament put the figure at 1,200 in Qom and the western city of Borujerd alone as of Tuesday.”
Voice of America reports, “Hundreds of girls at about 30 schools have been sickened since November, with some winding up in hospital beds. Officials initially dismissed the incidents, only acknowledging the scope of the crisis in recent days.”
Iran does face Sunni Islamist terrorism. However, the problem is minor compared to Afghanistan, Iraq, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and other countries.
It could also be anti-Iranian government forces that seek to incite agitation – or a Shia ultra-conservative group outside of the government that is targeting female educational institutions because of recent protests (protests have died down recently compared with last year after the death of Masha Amini).
Masha Amini (22), Sarina Esmailzadeh (16), Hadis Najafi (22), Nika Shakarami (16), and many others were killed by the state apparatus last year after protests erupted after the death of Masha.
Others – pro-Iranian government forces – also suspect outside intrigues to encourage further agitation against the government.
Majid Mirahmadi, the deputy interior minister, said, “Over 99% of this is caused by stress, rumor and a psychological war started particularly by hostile TV channels, to create a troubled and stressful situation for students and their parents.”
He continued, “Their goal was to force schools to close.”
Authorities in Iran are finally acknowledging that the problem exists. However, the reason why is clouded in mystery – even if many believe that girls are being targeted because of their role in the protests. Therefore, an investigation is needed immediately.
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