March 19, 2023

Iran must be penalized for poisoning young girls

Back to All
by Farhad Rezaei, Senior Research Fellow

If the illness of Iranian schoolgirls is not caused by “mass sociogenic illness,” then it raises a fundamental question about the underlying reason for these incidents.

It has been over three months since the chemical attacks against Iranian schoolgirls started, leading to the poisoning of more than 5000 female students. It appears that these instances are likely part of a systematic and coordinated campaign aimed at suppressing teenage involvement in protests.

Some observers are holding the Islamic regime responsible for the attacks. Some others attribute the attacks to mass hysteria and anxiety. The article “Are Iranian schoolgirls being poisoned by toxic gas?” published by BBC News, stands out in this context.

According to the piece, several “key epidemiological factors,” including “the fact that it has been predominantly affecting schoolgirls,” suggest that these incidents were not a chain of poisonings, but were instead a case of “mass sociogenic illness” in which symptoms spread among a group with no obvious biomedical cause.