Leader calls pupil poisonings ‘unforgivable crime’

March 6, 2023 - 21:0

TEHRAN- Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on Monday labeled the poisoning of pupils in schools as an “unforgivable and massive crime,” urging the relevant authorities to take the matter seriously.

“If it is confirmed that the pupils were poisoned, the culprits of this crime must be severely punished and there will be no amnesty for them,” the Leader asserted. 

The statements were delivered by Ayatollah Khamenei as he was celebrating Iran’s national Arbor Day by planting three saplings.

“Officials should take the poisoning of pupils seriously,” the Leader declared, adding, “This is a serious and inexcusable crime.”

Ayatollah Khamenei stated that relevant parties, including intelligence and law enforcement bodies, should track out the crime’s inception as well as the perpetrators and organizers.

“This is a crime because it is done to the most helpless members of society—children. Moreover, it disturbs families and instills psychological uncertainty and terror in society. These matters need to be taken seriously, and if the offenders are found guilty, there won't be any amnesty for them. They must also be disciplined, and their punishment must serve as a lesson,” the Leader highlighted.

“Corruption on earth”

Iranian Judiciary Chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei also said on Monday that the culprits for poisoning the pupils would be put on trial and charged with “corruption on earth,” a charge that carries death penalty.

So far, Iranian officials have not announced any arrests in this regard.

“Atrocious act”

The poisoning cases, which have resulted in some girls being hospitalized, were also blasted late on Sunday by President Ebrahim Raisi as “a fresh scheme by the enemies of Iran.”

Raisi has asked for precise and fast information on poisoning incidents in schools, denouncing them as examples of “crimes and an atrocious act” by the nemesis. 

“The new conspiracy of the enemy to sow fear in the hearts of students, our dear children, and their parents is a crime and it is an anti-human act,” Raisi said in remarks at a cabinet meeting on Sunday

The president was referring to a report by the minister of intelligence on the investigation into the issue of the poisoning of a number of schools across the country.

Last week Raisi directed the interior and intelligence ministers to investigate the poisoning incidents.

The president also underlined the necessity for follow-up on this matter and the provision of correct and timely information to the pertinent agencies to address the public’s concerns, the president’s official website reported. 

“This conduct is another link in the chain of enemy intrigues, which are intended to inflame society, worry the general public, and create dread among the nation's youth,” Raisi admonished. 

Several Iranian students have reported experiencing symptoms of poisoning while attending class since November 2022. 

Before spreading to other cities, the infection began in the city of Qom.

Most frequently, students had breathing problems, nausea, exhaustion, and dizziness; some even required hospitalization.

Elsewhere in his Monday remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei said the country’s economic challenges, including a devaluation of the national currency, inflation and the high cost of living, are a result of a single-product economy.

Additionally, the Leader remarked, “Officials should use all available economic means to find the correct solution to people’s issues.”

The Leader also explained why he planted three seedlings in other parts on Monday, using the slogan for this year’s National Tree Planting Day, “Every Iranian Three Saplings.”

He said that the government’s goal of planting one billion saplings will be accomplished in four years beginning in 1402 (which starts on March 21, 2023) if each person plants three saplings in accordance with that phrase. 

He said that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution makes clear that environmental preservation is a priority, emphasizing that “no one should disobey this law.”

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