Sunday, August 17, 2008

Iran: Minister of the Interior accused of claiming fake law degree

Tehran, 14 August (AKI) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's newly appointed Minister of the Interior may not be as qualified as he originally claimed to be. Ali Kardan has reportedly been saying for years that he had obtained an honorary law doctorate from the prestigious Oxford University in Britain. Since he took office this month, questions have been raised about Kardan's claim, and the university issued a statement denying they ever awarded him a degree. The ministry tried to back up the claim by putting out a copy of the degree complete with a seal from Oxford. But the degree contained misspelled words and questions were raised about whether Kardan's degree had been produced using computer software known as Photoshop. Not even the professors who reportedly 'signed' the degree had ever heard of Kardan. This is the second of Ahmadinejad's officials to have been marred by controversy. Earlier this week, the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organisation, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, provoked criticism after he said that Israelis and Americans are friends of Iranians. Mashaei is a close confidant of Ahmadinejad and his daughter is married to Ahmadinejad's son.


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