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Can Rouhani reverse Iran’s brain drain?

The Iranian government must reconcile with the Iranian diaspora for sustainable economic progress.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani takes questions from journalists during a news conference in New York September 27, 2013. New Iranian President Rouhani said on Friday he wanted talks with major powers on Iran's nuclear program to yield results in a short period of time and that the improved mood in U.S.-Iranian relations could lead to better ties. REUTERS/Adrees Latif (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENERGY) - RTX142CR

On Jan. 7, Iran’s Minister of Science, Research and Technology Reza Faraji Dana said, “Every year, about 150,000 highly talented people emigrate from Iran, equaling an annual loss of $150 billion to the economy.” Though the monetary value may be inaccurate (the World Bank put the economic cost of Iran’s brain drain at $50 billion in 2010), the fact is that Iran has experienced one of the highest levels of brain drain over the past decades. According to the International Monetary Fund, Iran has the highest brain drain rate in the world. An estimated 25% of all Iranians with post-secondary education now live in "developed" countries of the OECD.

Faraji Dana went on to outline that Iran has to provide “proper conditions for the return of experts to the country." He cited China as a good example to follow, since it has succeeded in luring its educated people back to the country.

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