A newly elected Iranian lawmaker has denied his university degree is fake, admitting that the electoral commission in his province has expressed “uncertainty” about his diploma.
Sina Kamalkhani was elected to parliament in February and will represent Tafresh, in Iran’s Central Province, when the new legislature is sworn in within weeks.
Local news website Khabar Online says Kamalkhani has not explained what sort of uncertainty surrounds his educational background but has said he is in correspondence with the Guardian Council, a watchdog which vets all election candidates in the Islamic Republic.
A provincial official had earlier said the Guardian Council has found a problem with Kamalkhani’s educational degree and officials are awaiting the watchdog’s final decision on the issue.
An electoral commission official has also disclosed that the Education Ministry sent a letter “attesting to the invalidity of his diploma”.
Kamalkhani who is 32 years old is one of many younger candidates who swept into victory in the elections after the hardliner Guardian Council disqualified hundreds of other candidates.
He claims to have an MA degree in sociology.
In years past the issue of Islamic Republic officials using fake degrees or claiming to have diplomas they never received has periodically ignited scandals.
During the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad his interior minister Ali Kordan was impeached (2008) by parliament for presenting a fake degree.