Iran’s economy is in a mess. Unemployment is high, especially amongst the young. The cost of living is spiralling. Inflation is rocketing. Business is suffering. It is not surprising then that the nation’s brightest and best are leaving Iran in increasing numbers to seek a more promising future elsewhere.
A report by the International Monetary Fund in 2009 placed Iran at the top of the list of countries losing their academic elite, with an annual loss of 150,000 to 180,000 specialists. It's equivalent to a capital loss of $50 billion. This trend is growing as the increasingly harsh economic climate prompts more and more young people to leave Iran. At the age of 28, Ali lost his job with a computer business in Tehran after sales dried up. A fluent English-speaker with programming skills, he wants to emigrate. "Right now I'm self employed and doing business abroad, because the rial can no longer cut it. I would rather do underpaid work in dollars than wasting time working for a local company," he said. Many of his contemporaries feel the same way.
It is no surprise therefore that economic policy has been at the heart of the presidential campaigns over the past weeks. If the new president does not bring improvement to the economy during his term, Iran’s brightest will continue to seek better opportunities overseas, thus depriving Iran of some of its best assets and further weakening the economy’s chances of recovery.
• The political will and wisdom to bring improvement to the economy
• The many Iranians working overseas to act as a voice for those left behind
• The current economic hardship to cause many to turn to Jesus