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Iran's Rowhani Accused of PhD Plagiarism

Newly-elected President Hassan Rowhani’s PhD university thesis under scrutiny as allegations emerge of plagiarism.
By Rina Tzvi
First Publish: 6/27/2013, 3:34 PM

Hassan Rowhani
Hassan Rowhani
AFP photo

Excerpts of recently-elected President Hassan Rowhani’s PhD university thesis, titled, “The flexibility of Sharia with reference to the Iranian experience”, almost directly mirror sentences of a book written by an Iranian author, The Telegraph reported.

Parts of a book by Mohamad Hashem Kamani, the chairman of Iran’s International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies, appear in Rowhani’s Glasgow Caledonian University thesis, London-based writer Behdad Morshedi said, according to Al-Arabiya.

“Mr. Kamali is closely associated with the regime but his book was published in his own name and the extracts are virtually identical,” said Morshedi, which is a pen name. “We will be submitting a petition calling on the university to cancel the PhD.”

A university spokesman confirmed that the school had received the same accusation from another activist in the United States, adding that the university will be examining the issue.

The 500-page thesis contains two passages in the short excerpt that have come under scrutiny, according to The Telegraph.

Rowhani is to be inaugurated on August 4, replacing current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.