Iran Press Service

Will Mr. Kordan resign, or be dismissed?

Will Mr. Ali Kordan, the Iranian Interior Minister resign, or be removed and tried, now that he has admitted that his “honorary doctorate” he had claimed was obtained from Oxford University was a fake?


Paris, 2 Oct. (IPS) Will Mr. Ali Kordan, the Iranian Interior Minister resign, or be removed and tried, now that he has admitted that his “honorary doctorate” he had claimed was obtained from Oxford University was a fake?

          According to Iranian laws, anyone who makes a wrong claim about his education, present faked diplomas, university, or post-graduate doctorates etc in order to obtain better jobs and better advantages will be sentenced to one to three years imprisonment.

In a latter to the President, the Interior Minister admitted that the doctorat he pretended was granted to him by the Oxford University is "fake".

          In a letter to the President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad, published on Monday 30 September, Mr. Kordan says he “believed” the doctorate that was granted to him by a “representative” of Oxford University in Tehran in 2000, was genuine, but now that the enquiries made by himself and the Majles and the Higher Education Ministry shows that it is faked, he has filed complaints against the “representative”, whom he has not identified.

          The saga of Mr. Kordan’s honorary doctorate started on 29 July 2008, during his appearance at the Majles, or the Iranian Parliament, as the ultimate choice of the President for the Interior Ministry. Surprised that Mr. Kordan has a doctorate from Oxford University, Hojjatoleslam Rouhollah Hoseynian, a right wing member of the Majles asked the postulant when and how he got that degree.

          According to Mr. Kordan, the degree had ostensibly been given to him for his "managerial and executive experience” and the subject of his thesis presented to Oxford University via a person who had opened an affiliate office in Tehran was “Development of Islamic values in the world".

          When Mr. Hoseynian, a mid rank cleric, observed that the diploma is a doctorate in laws. The response was as vague as unconvincing: I had written a thesis on the progress of Islamic values and received the diploma from Oxford, signed by the Director of the University’s Middle East Department and three professors.

Ali Larijani-4
Mr. Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Majles, was the boss of Mr. Kordan ten years ago.

          On insistence from Mr. Hoseynian and on the order of Mr. Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Majles who, when he was General Director of the Iranian State-run Radio and Television, he had taken Mr. Kordan as one of his deputies, an enquiry was ordered on the way Mr. Kordan had obtained his doctorate.

           In response to enquiries made by the Higher Education and Science Ministry, responsible from Oxford responded by saying that they have “never” heard the name of Ali Kordan, that the University has “never” delivered such a diploma to any one under that name.

           In his letter to the President, the Minister also says since doubts were raised during his confirmation hearings in parliament concerning his university document, he launched some enquiries that proved that the diploma “was not genuine”.

          He said his reaction was "utter disbelief" when the university would not confirm the validity of his degree following his enquiries.

          Following the debate in the Parliament, the Interior Ministry issued a statement saying that "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 and the Head of the Middle East Department at the University has signed the doctorate".
            Not only the degree shown by Mr. Kordan to lawmakers contained misspelled words, raising questions about whether Kordan's degree had been produced using computer software known as Photoshop, but also not even the professors who reportedly 'signed' the degree had ever heard of Kordan.

         On Tuesday, Mr. Ali Abbaspour, the leader of a parliamentary investigation of the matter said it appeared that the  minister, Ali Kordan, had lied about his bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well, the ILNA news agency reported.

          It is not known why Mr. Kordan refuses to identify the man who provided him the faked doctorate on behalf of the prestigious university, why he did not immediately offered his resignation, since the laws says “whoever uses faked university or scholar documents to obtain better posts and advantages attached to the educational diploma or degree would be sentenced to one to three years jail”.

The Head of the Majes investigation Committee confirmed that Mr. Koprdan's doctorate s a fake.

          In one of his recent interviews in New York with American media, Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad said his Government was one of the “cleanest” in the world, because it abides by word of God and Islam, which, incidentally, considers lie as a “cardinal sin”.

          But according to a pro-Government lawmaker, “so far, there is no reason to impeach Mr. Kordan”.

          Even if one accepts what Mr. Kordan says, that he has been victim of a “charlatan” – by the way what was the purpose of that mysterious man to provide Mr. Kordan a university doctorate?, or was it  Mr. Kordan who solicited a doctorate? – he should have immediately offered his resignation, or the President should have him dismissed.

          Mr. Kordan is not the first one to have claimed possessing high educational degree. In a country where almost all officials, being clerics, militaries or civilians are “doctor” in something, ranging from road engineering to international law or politics etc.. most of them obtained from dubious, sometimes even not existing educational establishments, the case of the Interior Minister is one of the least surprising.         

          Very Godly. Very Islamic. Very truthful. Very clean. Very honest, and Very courageous! ENDS KORDAN DOCTORATE 21008