University of Tehran philosophy professor Mahmoud Khatami, who has been accused of extensive plagiarism (including his Durham University PhD, several articles, and an allegedly ghost-written book about him) is on sabbatical in Canada and has not yet responded to inquiries about the charges, according to sources in Iran.
The story has been pursued in several Iranian periodicals, including Seda, a reformist magazine, Shargh, a major newspaper, and Tabnak, a major conservative news agency. Reportedly, the case has been referred to Iran’s ministry of higher education. The chair of the department is quoted in Shargh as saying:
After the publication of an article on the net on Khatami’s dissertation and some of his books we asked him to explain the issue so that we can support him. We have not yet received any response from him. The issue is very important; the department of philosophy condemns plagiarism and soon will states its position on the issue. [Translation courtesy of source who prefers to remain anonymous.]
One source writes:
I talked to several students of the University of Tehran…. [In the philosophy department] the biggest name was Khatami of whom many students were proud. Now many students are just disoriented and shocked. I have heard that the department implicitly accepted the charges and has allowed Khatami’s students to change their supervisor. Of 22 of Khatami’s masters and PhD students 21 of them changed their supervisor.
An official statement from the University of Tehran Department of Philosophy is expected sometime during this coming week. Durham University has not issued any statement nor replied to inquiries about the plagiarism.