Iranian minister could face legal charges over fake degree

Iran Materials 15 August 2008 17:53 (UTC +04:00)

An Iranian minister might face legal charges over an alleged falsified certificate saying he received an honorary doctorate from England's Oxford University, the Fars news agency reported Friday.

Interior Minister Ali Kordan presented the "certificate" last week to parliament before it approved his appointment to the post last week, dpa reported.

Oxford has categorically denied granting Kordan an honorary degree.

The alleged degree, a copy of which has been released by the Interior Ministry to show its authenticity, has grammar and spelling mistakes such as writing "entitled" as "intitled."

Presenting faked documents, especially in governmental organizations, is a crime and offenders could be jailed.

"If the certificate of Mr. Kordan was really faked, then any misuse would be a crime and should be dealt with by a relevant court," said Ali-Akbar Javanfekr, press advisor of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"But Mr. Kordan still has time to defend himself and reply to the charges about his certificate," Javanfekr added.

The presidential press advisor further said that if necessary, "also the president would apologise to the people" for having introduced Kordan to the parliament as new interior minister.