Tehran [Iran], March 12: Iran's Interior Ministry said on Saturday more than 100 people in 11 provinces have been arrested on charges of involvement in the recent incidents of student poisoning at the country's schools.
The ministry announced the arrests in a statement published on its website, listing the provinces as Tehran, Qom, Zanjan, Khuzestan, Hamedan, Fars, Gilan, West Azarbaijan, East Azarbaijan, Kurdestan and Khorasan Razavi.
The statement noted for some of the arrestees who used poisonous substances as a "mischievous" way to escape classes, and the authorities have given them necessary warnings and instructions.
Some other arrestees are individuals with "hostile motivations," the statement added, noting they sought to cause fear and anxiety among people and students. The authorities are investigating them to find out if they are connected to terrorist groups.
More than 700 students in over 30 schools across Iran have fallen victim to mysterious poisoning cases since Nov. 30, 2022 when the first case was reported in the Qom province. Most of them were soon released from the hospital after receiving treatment, according to the official news agency IRNA.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Monday urged law enforcement to pursue anyone responsible, vowing to give maximum punishment to the perpetrators.
The Iranian Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday its investigation revealed that the diffusion of certain "stimulant substances" among students led to their poisoning symptoms in some schools over the past weeks.