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IRAN: Proposed education minister accused of making up his degrees

August 29, 2009 |  7:03 am

Iran-daneshjoo

Did President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's nominee as head of the nation's higher education system fake his university degrees?

According to an investigation by a reformist website, Mowjcamp.com, Kamran Daneshjoo, Ahmadinejad's proposed minister of higher education, has lied about his academic credentials by claiming that he obtained British university degrees.

Daneshjoo teaches at Tehran's Iran University of Science and Technology, the same institution from which Ahmadinejad emerged. 

But as parliament prepares to vote on Ahmadinejad's proposed Cabinet on Sunday, the report says the 52-year-old's credentials are riddled with question marks.

Ahmadinejad already faces a tough battle over his Cabinet. The influential conservative lawmaker Ahmad Tavakoli predicted that at least a third of the 21 nominees would get the thumbs down for lacking qualifications. 

Ten of the nominees, including Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki, were already in the Cabinet.

Among the 11 new faces is Daneshjoo, whose name means "college student."

According to his official biography, he holds a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering from a "College of London." 

The problem is, no such college exists. 

Perhaps, Mowjcamp speculates, he meant the Imperial College of London, which includes an aeronautics department.

But if you click on Daneshoo's resume on his website at the University of Science and Technology, there's a totally different set of credentials. 

Here (pictured above), it says that he obtained his master's and doctoral degrees from a place called the "Manchester Imperial Institute of Science and Technology" in Britain, an institution that apparently does not exist. 

It also says that he obtained his bachelor's degree from "Queen Mary," which could refer to either Queen Mary, University of London, or Queen Mary's College, but that is very different from the College of London his boss cited.

The curriculum vitae on his website lists numerous articles in English and Farsi dated to 1999, but none of the articles could be found on the Internet, Mowjcamp reports.

Mowjcamp could also find no evidence of him having finished his degree in Iran.

All this could be the result of sloppy resume writing or bad translation. Daneshjoo served as the Ministry of Interior's public point man on the recent disputed presidential elections, and a lot of people are out to get him over his role in the vote count.

But after last year's Ali Kordan fiasco, in which Ahmadinejad's interior minister was ousted after he falsely claimed to have a degree from Oxford, Mowjcamp warns lawmakers to be vigilant. 

"Independent lawmakers should query him about his academic qualifications so that they will not have to impeach him later," the piece said.

-- Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photo: A screen shot from Kamran Daneshjoo's academic Web page.

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