While brain drain and migration from Iran under the mullahs’ rule has one of the highest rates in the world, Ebrahim Raisi’s government is insisting on the return of the expatriate Iranians, deceptively claiming that they should not have any concerns about being persecuted.
The regime is trying to lure the exiled Iranians back to Iran by asserting that they will have “fully ensured security”, “facilities needed to return”, and a “return without any problem.”
However, dissidents say the notorious Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) are poised to snatch them at the airports when they approach the security checkpoints, according to dissidents.
The parliament’s official website ICANA, stated on March 20, 2020, that the latest report of the Parliamentary Research Center and another report by a former Deputy Minister of Education Baqer Larijani, say Iran ranked second in brain drain and some 150,000 to 180,000 educated specialists leave the country annually.
The regime’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian promised, “Their return will be no problem and has been coordinated with the security authorities.”
The state-run website Rouydad 24 admitted in a report on January 5, 2022, that the interrogation of passengers at airports is carried out in coordination with the MOIS and the Foreign Ministry.
“It has obtained information from some Iranian passengers that show that several passengers were taken to rooms by security officers with wireless (Walkie-Talkie) to fill out a form about their personal information,” Rouydad 24 wrote.
Recounting the plight of two Iranians in the Netherlands and Germany, Rouydad 24added that “since a few months ago” interrogations are carried out at Tehran Airport.
The report added: “According to an Iranian traveler living in the Netherlands, right after checking his passport and seal of arrival, a person with a wireless device led him and his wife to a room near the passport control office and asked them to fill out a form.
“This form asks for information such as name, address, place of residence, education, job, income, and date of arrival and departure.
This traveler added: “In addition to him, about 10 other passengers were in the room-filling out their declaration [interrogation] forms.”
Rouydad 24 reported that its investigation had concluded that “not only dual nationals or refugees were the target of these self-reported forms [interrogation], and but also foreign nationals are questioned.”
The Foreign Ministry’s consular section launched a ‘traffic inquiry system’ on the ‘Integrated Consular Services Management’ website on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, and according to Amirabdollahian, “Iranians abroad can find out whether or not they can leave the country after arrival by providing minimal information about themselves.”
The question is what objectives are the regime is pursuing by calling for the return of the Iranians?
Call to return in the service of looting
The budget deficit of more than $11 billion in 2022, according to Tasnim news agency, on January 10, 2020(higher according to some regime officials), lays bare the economic bankruptcy of the regime, forcing it to make up for part of its budget deficit with the capital of Iranians abroad.
Iran’s parliament speaker Mohammad Bahger Ghalibaf stated: “The inability to use the assets of Iranian diaspora would be a sign of our ineptitude.”
A spokesperson for the Judiciary added: “Iran is the best place for Iranians to invest.”
The state-run Mostaghel daily on December 28, 2021, confessed to the regime’s deception. “Experience has shown that the main purpose of returning Iranians is essentially the return of their funds. In these years, due to sanctions, very low foreign investment and increased capital evasion, the capital of Iranians abroad has always been a seductive issue to provide a portion of the country’s economic costs,” it wrote, adding, “Of course, if their (government) intention to return Iranians is serious, the most obvious measure is to try to keep them in the country and motivate them not to migrate.”
Beware the “Mikhak System” an MOIS App
The Mikhak System like any other website or application created in Iran, first and foremost, serves MOIS. Therefore, using or subscribing to such Apps entails great risks.
In remarks to the State-run daily Iran Press, December 27, 2021, regime Foreign Minister Abollahian admitted as much: “Some Iranians who have not traveled to the country for many years are concerned. Since 8:00 a.m. (Wednesday) we have placed an environment in the State Department’s the ‘Mikhak System’ as a ‘traffic inquiry ‘ where Iranians abroad can ask us without divulging any information, whether or not they can leave the country easily after entering Iran.”
He added, “And we’ll respond to them within 10 days, and the foreign ministry ensures that Iranians can easily travel to their homeland.”
Adel Kianpour a latest bitter example
Political prisoner Adel Kianpour, imprisoned since July 2020, died suspiciously on January 1, 2022, after being infected with the Coronavirus following a week of hunger strike in the Sheiban prison in Ahvaz.
Kianpour was sentenced to three years by a court in Ahvaz on charges of propaganda against the regime and benefitting opposition groups and disturbing public opinion.
In a voice message, addressing the regime’s Judiciary Chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, he said, “Mr. Ejei, you said that everyone who has a security problem and is abroad can come back, and we help them get back to a normal life. By life, you mean life in prison?”
After returning to Iran, Kianpour was immediately arrested, tortured for two months forced, to make incriminating confessions, and was deprived of his right to an attorney and visitation for five months.
The last word
In a report on December 28, 2021, the state-run daily Mostaghel unmasked the regime’s latest ploy, “When nepotism is the main factor for promotion in the executive branch, is there any need for domestic elites and the return of the people aboard? Finally, Mr. Foreign Minister when you say that people can return and they will be harassed, this in and of itself is inaccurate. Are you and all your actions correct, and are all the other offenders? This sounds like you are being gracious by looking the other way as regards any mistakes they may have committed (while in exile).” now you decided to close your eyes on all their mistakes with generosity?”