MEK: Brain Drain Threatens Regime’s Future as Elite Workers Flee Iran
Highly-educated Iranians are fleeing their homeland and taking their expert skill sets with them in alarming numbers, says a new report from the state-run Arman Melli news. According to the January 22, 2021 report, the emigration of expert workers from Iran, or brain drain, has increased 100 percent over the past decade.
The Iranian Immigration
A report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranked Iran first out of 91 developing or underdeveloped countries in its rate of elite migration. The Iranian Immigration Yearbook designated 1,301,975 emigration cases as contributing to brain drain in 2019. The biggest beneficiaries of Iranian talent are the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Sweden, Australia, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Qatar, France, Norway, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Iraq, Switzerland, and Belgium. 25 percent of highly-educated Iranians live in developed countries.
Ahmad Khorram, the head of the Building Engineering System Organization, announced on January 19, 2021, that there are 250,000 unemployed engineers in Iran. Khorram has been outspoken about brain drain in the past as well. On June 21, 2018, he gave an interview with the semi-official ISNA about the economic cost of elite migration. “$1,500 billion is wasted annually through brain drain,” he said.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) October 27, 2018
Brain drain and its effect on the Iranian economy
The regime has acknowledged the problem of brain drain and its effect on the Iranian economy. The regime’s parliament and Ministry of Education released statistics showing that 70 percent of top-ranked entrance exam scorers, science Olympiad winners, and scientific medalists all emigrate from Iran.
In a January 22 interview with Arman Melli, regime sociologist Majid Abhari noted that these students could not be persuaded to remain in Iran, saying, “60 to 80 percent of the first members of the various Olympiads did not return to the country with the promise of the university, scholarships, and surplus financial aid.”
Abhari stressed that the flight of elite students has badly damaged the Iranian economy and quoted a historian who said that “brain drain has damaged the Iranian economy 300 times more in recent years than the Iran-Iraq war.”
Majid Abhari, a sociologist within the regime, puts the figure at up to 80 percent, stating that “60 to 80 percent of the first members of the various Olympiads did not return to the country https://t.co/LFULOaC6qY
— Iran Freedom (@4FreedominIran) January 26, 2021
Why Do Experts Leave?
Many reasons have been suggested for Iran’s brain drain. The country is rife with economic, political, and social crises, and many would deem that to be sufficient cause for elite workers to flee. Others point to the country’s clerical dictatorship, with its draconian laws and limited freedom. This, too, would push promising talent to friendlier countries.
Abhari, though, proposed another reason why so many Iranians rush to leave their homes and families for parts unknown: corruption. “When a highly educated person sees that one of the children of high-ranking officials, with a much lower degree, gets a great job, it brings frustration and discrimination to the point that they freeze.”
The middle-class does not exist in Iran. The regime’s leaders and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) form the ruling class and control the country’s wealth. Everyone else lives in poverty and oppression. The elite who can emigrate to other countries does so because it is an opportunity to break free.
The problem is that no one should have to leave their home to be free. Further, for those who are left behind, the brain drain leaves everyone on even shakier footing.
The background of Brain drain
In November 1980, regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini responded to early concerns that the clerical regime would create a brain drain. He said, “The People’s Mojahedin of Iran (MEK Iran / PMOI) says the brains are fleeing. “To hell with those who flee, let these university graduates, those who all talk about science and civilization, go.”
The regime’s philosophy has not changed, and the (MEK Iran / PMOI) still believes that brain drain is a problem. The only way to solve this problem is to overthrow the regime that caused it. A free and democratic Iran means an Iran where knowledge can flourish.
Mullahs Publically Speculate on the End of #Iran Regime
Iranian Regime officials are terrified that the failing economy and the rise of the Iranian Resistance will cause the people to revolt, spelling the end of the Mullahs’ Regime…https://t.co/lgY2Pn8C91 #FreeIran2018 pic.twitter.com/V5GTUsNebH
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) October 25, 2018