Image: Protest honoring Neda Agha Soltan
Jacques Brinon  /  AP
Across the world, including this action in Paris, France, on July 25, people have protested the killing of Neda Agha Soltan, the 27-year-old Iranian student whose death beamed around the world on the Internet became a rallying cry for opponents of Iran's regime.
updated 11/11/2009 11:33:02 AM ET 2009-11-11T16:33:02

Iran has written to an Oxford University college to complain about a scholarship in memory of a slain Iranian student who became a symbol of anti-government protests in her country, the college said Wednesday.

Queen's College established the Neda Agha Soltan Graduate Scholarship in Philosophy earlier this year. The 27-year-old student was shot to death June 20 on the sidelines of a Tehran demonstration against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Her dying moments were caught on a video viewed by millions on YouTube, and she became an icon in the opposition's struggle.

Queen's College confirmed it had received a letter from the Iranian Embassy in London. Iran's state-run Press TV reported that the letter called the scholarship a "politically motivated move."

Press TV said the embassy deplored the "involvement of the university in Iran's internal affairs" and repeated Tehran's claim British media "played a leading role" in the postelection protests.

The embassy could not immediately be reached for comment.

The provost of Queen's College, Paul Madden, said the names of scholarships were decided, "within reason," by donors.

The college did not disclose the donors behind the Soltan scholarship, but said the key individual was a British citizen who is well known to the college.

The scholarship is open to all philosophy students, with preference given to Iranians and those of Iranian descent. The first holder is Arianne Shahvisi, studying for a master's degree in the philosophy of physics.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments