The University of Malaya has cancelled a scheduled visit by the outspoken human rights lawyer and Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi who was supposed to deliver a speech entitled Islam and Cultural Diversity on 3 November.
Ms Ebadi campaigned for greater rights for women and children.She has faced numerous death threats and hostility in the Iranian media, and the government banned her Centre for Protecting Human Rights in 2006.
The Malaysian foreign ministry had sent a letter "strongly advising" the organisers not to go ahead with the speech."We were told there would be big implications for bilateral relations," the unnamed official said, adding that Iranian diplomats were "pushing for Malaysia to call it off".
The university's vice-chancellor, Rafiah Salim, told the French news agency AFP that the decision was made "out of respect for our Iranian students, who were not very happy".