Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 14:40 UK

Iran minister retracts Oxon claim

Interior Minister Ali Kordan
Mr Kordan said he hardly believed it when Oxford confirmed the fake

An embarrassed Iranian minister has admitted a degree he said he had received from Oxford was a fake.

Interior Minister Ali Kordan said he believed he was granted an honorary degree by a representative of the university in Tehran in 2000.

But enquiries he had made since doubts were raised during his confirmation hearings in parliament had shown it was not genuine, he said.

Mr Kordan added that he had been unable to trace the intermediary.

The minister, who previously worked as a university teacher, has been under pressure to clarify the situation since he made the claim in August.

MPs started asking questions and the prestigious British academic institution said it had no record of the degree.

Mr Kordan made the admission in a letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has now forwarded it to parliament, but correspondents say it is unclear what effect this will have.

The degree had ostensibly been given 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," the minister wrote.

He said he had filed a complaint against the missing intermediary, whom he did not name.

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

Iranian row on Zionism breaks out
22 Sep 08 |  Middle East
Iran raps Israel 'kidnap threat'
10 Sep 08 |  Middle East
Iranian leader backs Ahmadinejad
24 Aug 08 |  Middle East
Country profile: Iran
27 Aug 08 |  Country profiles
UN approves new Iran resolution
28 Sep 08 |  Special Reports

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific