Back in August I reported on Ali Kordan, who was appointed Iran’s Minister of the Interior by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It seems there was a spot of bother with Mr. Kordan’s résumé: he claimed a degree from Oxford University when he had never been there, and no one there had heard of him.
President Ahmadinejad backed Mr. Kordan to the hilt, saying that it was silly to worry about such a trivial matter as a piece of paper from an infidel university. So it looked like the affair was closed.
But yesterday the Majlis, against the wishes of the President, impeached Ali Kordan and removed him from office. This is a major poke in the eye for Mad Jad.
According to AKI:
Iran: Minister Impeached for Fake Oxford Degree
Tehran, 4 Nov. (AKI) — Iran’s Minister of the Interior, Ali Kordan, was impeached on Tuesday after admitting he lied about a fake degree from a top British university. Kordan’s impeachment was carried by 188 votes with 45 against and 14 abstentions. Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has backed Kordan and called the move ‘illegal’.
However, the Majlis or Iranian Parliament speaker Ari Larijani said the impeachment is legal and within the power and rights of the Parliament.
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In a speech on Tuesday, Kordan claimed that the Israeli news media had organised a smear campaign to discredit him.
Kordan admitted to holding a false honorary law degree from Britain’s eminent Oxford University in September, but he blamed an unnamed university official for conferring the degree.
He told Iranian media that he pressed charges against the unnamed person who claimed to represent Oxford University in Tehran as soon as he realised his degree was not authentic.
The degree had been issued for his “managerial and executive experience” and for submitting a thesis to the university via a person who had opened an office in Tehran, said Kordan.
He claimed he could not track down the intermediary and thus filed a complaint against the unnamed person on 14 September.
Kordan had reportedly been saying for years that he had obtained the honorary degree.
But since he took office earlier this year, questions have been raised about Kordan’s claim, and the university issued a statement on 15 August denying that they ever awarded him a degree..
“The names of the professors at the bottom of the document are people who have all at some stage held posts at the University of Oxford,” read a statement in the university’s website.
“However, none of them has worked in the field of Law, and none of them would have been a signatory of any University of Oxford degree certificate.”
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 Kordan’s degree had been produced using computer software known as Photoshop.
Not even the professors who reportedly ‘signed’ the degree had ever heard of Kordan.
Hat tip: C. Cantoni.