Iran Condemns Oxford Memorial Scholarship for Neda Agha-Soltan



By Ladane Nasseri and Ali Sheikholeslami

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) — Iran condemned the establishment of a scholarship by Queen’s College at the University of Oxford in memory of an Iranian woman who died in the country’s post- election protests, calling it a “politically motivated move.”

The Iranian Embassy in London wrote to the chancellor of Oxford, deploring the institution’s decision to offer a scholarship in philosophy “in the name of a killed woman to attract Iranian students,” the state-run Press TV channel said.

The college received a letter from the embassy, though the chancellor of the university didn’t, Maria Coyle, a spokeswoman for Oxford, said today in an e-mail while declining to comment on Iran’s condemnation of the scholarship program.

Neda Agha-Soltan, a 27-year-old graduate who had studied Islamic theology and secular philosophy, was fatally shot on June 20 at the edge of a demonstration in Tehran against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election days earlier. She became the symbol of the protests that were violently put down by authorities after Ahmadinejad’s disputed election win.

“The involvement of the university in Iran’s internal affairs, particularly in the country’s post-election events, of which the British media played a leading role, would lead to the loss of the university’s scientific prestige and academic goals,” according to an extract of the letter on Press TV.

The Iranian leadership said the U.S., the U.K. and the countries’ media organizations had encouraged… Read More

(See the Tehran Times article on this subject here.)

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