Iran to investigate poisonings of schoolgirls

STORY: Iran said on Thursday (March 2) it would investigate a wave of poisonings of female students.

Hundreds of Iranian girls in different schools have suffered "mild poison" attacks over recent months, the health minister said this week.

Some politicians are suggesting the culprits might be religious groups opposed to girls' education.

"First we smelt gas in the classroom, then one of the students became nauseous and dizzy," this student tells Iran's WANA news agency.

Minister of Health Bahram Eynollahi said on Thursday a committee of experts, including toxicologists, were investigating.

Poisonings at more than 30 schools in at least four cities started in November in Iran's holy city of Qom.

They've prompted some parents to take their children out of school, state media reported.

They come at a critical time for Iran's clerical rulers, who faced months of anti-government protests sparked by the death of a young Iranian woman in the custody of the morality police.

Iran's interior minister blamed the poisonings on unnamed "enemies" of Iran for causing disruption and inciting fear.