Life in Iran TodayIran’s Brain Drain

Iran’s Brain Drain


The accumulation of the crises in Iran, especially in recent years, has encircled Tehran’s mullahs. These crises continue to mount and speed up every year, with no signs of stopping and slowing down anytime soon.

One major example is the acceleration of the brain drain in Iran, with young, educated Iranians emigrating abroad in their thousands year after year, and the regime only has itself to blame for this mass exodus.

Even with a new administration in charge, the situation has only gotten worse. This subject has been discussed at great lengths within the government circles on several occasions, but the regime has done nothing to make any fundamental changes to address this problem. This gets more ridiculous when the regime puts out calls for the return of the Iranian diaspora, all the while creating an insecure and charred ground for any individual who dares to return.

The numbers and statistics of immigration paint an alarming picture. Escaping the regime’s misogynist culture, women are now at the forefront of those feeling the country.

In an interview published by the state-run website Khabar Fori on January 24, Bahram Salavati, the Director of the Iran Immigration Observatory emphasized that “the potential population for migration are the unemployed university graduates since the proportion of women in this population is higher, it can be assumed that they are more inclined to migrate.”

In September 2021, in discussing the immigration of Iranian nurses, the state-run Hamashahri daily wrote, “Previously, 200 to 300 people received immigration certificates from the nursing system each year, but now perhaps more than 1,500 people migrate each year. Because our leaves are not countable, it is not possible to provide accurate statistics. These migrations occur for two specific reasons; One is the ideal situation of the destination countries, and the other is the problems of the countries of origin.”

On January 23, the Secretary-General of the Iranian Top Talents Association, Safdar Zare Hosseinabadi, spoke to the state-run Rokna website, stating, “Kids who receive medals thought about emigrating because of the lack of attention in the country. We had 86 Olympiad medalists, of whom 82 to 83 emigrated.”

The state-run daily Resalat talked about the regime’s ambivalence toward this issue in its January 25 publication, “The issue of elite immigration still does not seem to be taken as seriously as it should be.”

Now, after many years of migrations and the escape of the Iranian people and the country’s elites, it is appropriate to go back 42 years and recall the first steps and foundations of the formation of migration and brain drain from Iran.

Breaking the pen and banning the press to suppress freedom of expression began in August 1979. This propelled the emigration of elites from Iran under the mullahs’ rule.

At that time, the late Gholam Hossein Saedi, the renowned Iranian playwriter, wrote, “The government, or rather the current ruling power, showed its true nature with complete impudence by shutting down the neutral and progressive press. He showed how it plots to control society. The signs and symptoms of these plans are crystal clear. Now a handful of monopolists and reactionary clowns want to mock the Shah. At least they should learn from the fate of any authoritarian regime.”

Describing the attack of this ruthless theocracy on the freedom of expression and freedom of the press, in a piece on August 11, 1979, Ahmad Shamloo, the legendary Iranian poet revealed the nature of this repression and predicted its long-term effects: “The monopolistic reactionaries, hardly caught in the illusion of victory, divert the revolution from its path. While knocking on the door and the wall out of fear of democracy, it seeks to sacrifice all the hopes of the revolution. Thugs and hooligans will never wake up from their fool’s dreams. It is a fact that sticks and knives have never been able to stop the fate of history for long. The commotion you create is much more haunting than all that we can say and write.”

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