The Iranian Interior Minister has been dismissed from his post after the discovery of a forged degree from Oxford University. Ali Kordan, who has only been in office since mid-August 2007, was relieved from his post last Tuesday when his degree, littered with grammatical errors, was found to be a fake.
The Iranian Parliament voted for his dismissal, with 188 of the 247 MPs voting for the motion, 45 voting against it and 14 abstaining. His impeachment was made official on the 4th of November.
The former minister defended himself by claiming that he thought the degree was legitimate. He stated that a Tehran representative from Oxford University offered him the degree, and that he accepted.
Mr Kordan also made up tales from his ‘Oxford days’ and related them to his students while he worked as a University lecturer. However, he has not even visited the University or received a first degree.
The forged degree, with its many grammatical mistakes, has become somewhat of a laughing stock. Among many other gaffes, the word ‘entitled’ was incorrectly spelt as “intitled.” As a comical response, a forged resignation letter with intentional spelling and punctuation errors, supposed to be from Mr. Kordan, was passed around.
“The row could have serious implications for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad”, said the BBC’s Tehran correspondent, John Leyne. Mr. Kordan’s removal is the 10th change in President Ahmadinejad’s cabinet. Mr. Kordan’s forgery could have very negative impacts on the Iranian president, since elections are less than a year away.