Iranian Health Minister Seyyed Hassan Hashemi says there have been nine acid attacks since the start of this year [March 21, 2014] and that victims, among them four men, have mostly needed outpatient treatment. According to Fararu, a news website, the following is what else the health chief, who is a veteran ophthalmologist, had to say on the sidelines of a gathering of university chancellors from across the nation:
Having examined a patient, the health minister said, “An acid attack victim who is in a Tehran hospital has undergone eye surgery. Her right-eye injuries are more serious. The damage to the left eye is almost 50 percent. She has to undergo several more surgeries.
“In cases involving chemical burns, if part of the skin that comes into direct contact with acid is washed profusely with water, there would be fewer complications. In this case too if those who rushed to the aid of the victim had washed her face with water, she would not have suffered such serious injuries.
“Other victims have not suffered as serious injuries as the woman who is hospitalized in the capital. I have made all the necessary recommendations with regard to the patient who is in an Isfahan hospital.
“The least the government can do at this stage is to provide financial support to the victims. Such violent behaviors deal a blow to society. In keeping with public expectations, such measures should be prevented.”
A look at newspaper headlines on acid attacks in Isfahan over the past few days:
Abrar (Oct. 20): “The heart-wrenching scar of acid on the face of Nesf-e Jahan (Half of the World),” wrote the daily in reference to recent acid attacks in the historical city of Isfahan.
Esfahan Emrooz (Oct. 23): “Police investigations into acid attacks are underway. The public should not pay attention to rumors about the case,” said the prosecutor of Isfahan [where a recent spate of acid attacks has put residents on edge].