07 Aug 2009 23:19
What does the new cabinet have in store?
By GOLAB P. | 8 Aug 2009
Reports emerged this week that Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's parliamentary deputy, has a "fake degree," bringing the number of academic controversies surrounding Ahmadinejad's cabinet to four. Here's a quick recap, starting with the latest:
1. Mohammad Reza Rahimi | Parliamentary Deputy
Source: Asr-e Iran and Khabaronline:
Rahimi is Ahmadinejad's parliamentary deputy. A number of MPs are going to be questioning him this week about his alleged PhD.
There are two reports, that he either got the degree from Azad University, or from a "university in France." Abdollah Jassbi, the president of Azad University, has publicly announced that no one by the name of Mohammad Reza Rahimi has obtained a PhD from that school.
2. The Law Professor: Ali Kordan | Ministry of the Interior
Source Wikipedia, which tends to have pretty accurate descriptions of Iranian officials:
Kordan claimed to have an honorary doctorate in law from Oxford University. However his academic qualifications and doctorate have been widely questioned by Iranian parliament members and the media. Immediately following his appointment as the Interior Minister, the Ministry threatened the media in an official announcement, urging them to avoid writing about Kordan's academic degree.
Kordan later released a copy of his degree showing an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree that was conferred on him in June 2000 and was under-signed by three Oxford University professors. The certificate was clumsily worded and punctuated, saying that Kordan was granted the degree "to be benefitted from it's scientific privileges," and "entitled" was spelled "intitled." The spelling of "entitle" as "intitle" in the degree was used by some commentators as being indicative of the degree being bogus (i.e. issued by a diploma mill), but the word "intitle" is an obsolete spelling of "entitle."
Responding to an inquiry by Alef news agency, on August 11 2008 Oxford University denied it had awarded Kordan an honorary doctorate of law or any other degree. The University of Oxford published an official statement on its website that they have no record of Mr Ali Kordan receiving an honorary doctorate or any other degree. It noted that none of the professors whose alleged signatures were on the certificate were working in the field of law, and none of them would sign degree certificates. As a result, chairman of Iranian parliament Ali Larijani initiated an investigation into the validity of Kordan's degree.
3. The Math Wiz: Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi | Minister of Science and Technology
Zahedi obtained his PhD in Mathemtics from the University of Kerman, in Iran. However, he has continuously claimed to be a member of New York Academy of Sciences (which he is not).
He also claims to have been called one of the most prominent Mathematicians of the century by the American Mathematical Society. No evidence for this can be found on the American Mathematical Society website.
Before becoming minister, Zahedi had no previous administrative or managerial experience except for serving on the board of education in the small town of Babak in the province of Kerman from 1982-1983, and serving on the city council.
However, when Zahedi was introduced to parliament, he argued that he was called "The Scientific Man of the Year, 1997-1998? by "Cambridge International," and "one of the most prominent mathematicians in the world" by the American Mathematical Society from 1998-2002. In parliament, when Zahedi boasted of his credentials, he was met with a lot of questioning from hardline parliament members including Emad Afrough.
Our investigation has shown that Cambridge International has nothing to do with the famous Cambridge University. It is a website that sends you a "Man of the Year" certificate for any field for the price of $95 and will even print your name in a silver frame for an extra $360.
4. The Thief: Ali Akbar Mehrabian | Minister of Industry and Mining
From Mehr News:
Mehrabian was found guilty of stealing a patent for an "earthquake saferoom" from a researcher, Farzan Salimi. He was found guilty of fraud by an appeals court in Tehran last month.
The interesting thing is that in 2004, Salimi had taken his invention to the municipality offices in Tehran, where Rahimi worked, and was turned away. He published a detailed description of the idea in newspapers in 2005.