About 5-6 million of Iranians living abroad
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 11
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The number of Iranians residing abroad is estimated at 5 to 6 million people, Javad Ghavam Shahidi, chairman of the High Council on Iranian Expatriates Affairs said, the official IRNA news agency reported Dec. 11.
He said that the figure is equal to seven percent of Iran's total population.
Iranians residing abroad have great scientific and economic potential, Shahidi said, demanding the Islamic Republic officials to pay attention to the issue in governmental "planning and policies."
The economic turnover of Iranians living abroad is between $1.5 to $4 trillion, the official said.
He said that the administration of President Hassan Rouhani tries to gain an accurate understanding of migration issue and financial potentials of Iranians residing abroad.
Earlier Iranian deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Iranian Expatriates Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said that the Iran's administration has not imposed any limit on returning Iranians living abroad.
All Iranians living abroad can return to Iran, he said, adding that if someone committed charges, the relevant entities will review the case after admission.
The political crackdown following the 2009 presidential election protests is said to have created a refugee exodus of elite Iranians.
A report by the International Monetary Fund in 2009 indicated that Iran tops the list of countries losing their academic elite with an annual loss of 150,000 to 180,000 specialists. This is equivalent to a capital loss of $50 billion.
Iranians mostly live in North America, Europe, Gulf States, Turkey, Australia and the broader Middle East.
Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh