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Iran minister admits holding fake degree

world Updated: Sep 30, 2008 17:03 IST
Iran minister admits to holding fake Oxford degree

Iran's Interior Minister Ali Kordan has admitted to holding a fake Oxford University degree which he thought was valid, coming clean after weeks of controversy, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

"In a letter to the president on Saturday, Ali Kordan said he had pressed charges against the person who claimed to represent Oxford University in Tehran as soon as he realised his degree was fake," the government daily Iran said.

Pressure has been mounting on Kordan following his appointment in August since Britain's prestigious university denied awarding him any qualification through a representative.

"Over the past eight years, I never doubted the validity of the degree and that's why I presented it in the course of the confidence vote," Kordan wrote in his letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The minister said he approached Oxford University after MPs cast doubt on his degree, but "to my utter disbelief, the university did not confirm (the degree) when my representative went there."

The degree had been issued for his "managerial and executive experience and for submitting a thesis to Oxford University via a person who had opened an affiliate office in Tehran in English-language affairs," the minister said.

Kordan said his search for the intermediary had proven fruitless and that he had filed a complaint against the unnamed person on September 14.