Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Iran and the great Glasgow PhD mystery.



The Balloon bar was abuzz with the news that the Iranian Presidential race included a chap with a turban and a claim of a PhD from Glasgow in Scotland.

“Och, noo, ah dinna think so”, said one erudite Scot who was sipping his dram noisily.  “Yer mon is pullin’ ma leg” he said, “an’ ifn ter thinkin’ his hand is creepin’ up an Iranian kilt, ya’d better get ye Dirks oot sharpish”, he added.

It got me to wondering how anyone could read an Iranian’s PhD written in Scottish.

The British academic record of an Iranian presidential candidate has come under scrutiny amid uncertainty over where and when he obtained his qualifications.

Hassan Rowhani, who has emerged as the leading reformist contender in the run-up to Friday's presidential election, originally claimed in official state-sponsored biographies to have graduated with a PhD in law from Glasgow University.

He would need to have herculean multi-tasking skills to write a PhD thesis while heading the national security council

Now an election campaign film has changed his alma mater after a website, Iran Election Watch, quoted a Glasgow University spokesman as having "no record of anyone of [Mr Rowhani's] name" ever attending the institution.

The half-hour campaign broadcast - which has been shown on Iranian television - states that Mr Rowhani went instead to Glasgow Caledonian University.

"He went to England [sic] and graduated with a MA and a PhD in Glasgow Caledonian University," the narrator says, accompanied by footage of the university campus.

But the alteration has failed to clear up questions about Mr Rowhani's credentials. While the film does not give a date for his studies, the narrative implies that it was during the 1970s, when he was an active political opponent of the Shah.

Glasgow Caledonian was established in 1993.

When a correspondent on Gulf 2000, a Middle East internet forum, pointed out this discrepancy, a supporter of Mr Rowhani responded with a newspaper web link purporting to show that he received his PhD in 1999 - but under a different family name, Feridon.

That date would have coincided with Mr Rowhani's tenure as secretary of Iran's supreme national security council - a role in which he led negotiations with the West over the Iranian nuclear programme - and membership of another state body, the expediency council.

"He would need to have herculean multi-tasking skills to write a PhD thesis while heading the national security council," said Meir Javedanfar, an Iran-born analyst with the Inter-Disciplinary Centre in Herzliya in Israel.


Yep. He has a hand up a kilt alright.
Mind  you, Iranians sound awfully like scots to some ears. Just sayin'.




1 comment:

  1. Please excuse the formatting problems. I am good at pulling pints but new at the blogging bizzo.

    JOYANNA !!!!!! Where are you?


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..