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Iranian diaspora

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Iranians abroad or Iranian diaspora are Iranian people living outside of Iran and their children born abroad.


According to various sources, in 2010, there were an estimated four to five million Iranians living abroad, mostly in North America, Europe, Persian Gulf States, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Australia and the broader MiddleEast. For the most part, they emigrated after the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

Students abroad

According to the Iranian government in 2013, 55,686 Iranian students were studying abroad. Out of this number, 8,883 students were studying in Malaysia, 7,341 in the United States, 5,638 in Canada, 3,504 in Germany, 3,364 in Turkey, 3,228 in Britain, and the rest in other countries. According to an estimate by the Iranian Ministry of Education, between 350 and 500 thousand Iranians were studying outside of Iran as of 2014.

According to experts, a Western-educated Iranian can earn in excess of $15,000 a month, up to about $250,000 a year, in a senior executive role at a Western conglomerate in Iran.


  • Seema Kennedy, Member of the House of Commons
  • Haleh Afshar, Member of the House of Lords
  • David Alliance, Member of the House of Lords
  • Goli Ameri, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
  • Cyrus Amir-Mokri, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions
  • Cyrus Habib, Member of the Washington House of Representatives
  • Azita Raji, United States Ambassador to Sweden
  • Bob Yousefian, Mayor of Glendale
  • Jimmy Delshad, Mayor of Beverly Hills
  • Amir Khadir, Member of the National Assembly of Quebec
  • Reza Moridi, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
  • Majid Jowhari, Member of the Parliament of Canada
  • Ali Ehsassi, Member of the Parliament of Canada
  • Sam Dastyari, Senator
  • Yasmin Fahimi, general secretary of the Social Democratic Party
  • Sahra Wagenknecht, Member of the Bundestag and deputy chairperson of the Left Party
  • Omid Nouripour, Member of the Bundestag, (Alliance '90/The Greens)
  • Farah Karimi, Member of the House of Representatives
  • Mazyar Keshvari, Member of the Storting
  • Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister for Public Administration
  • Maryam Yazdanfar, Member of the Riksdag
  • Reza Khelili Dylami, Member of the Riksdag
  • Hrant Markarian, Chairman of Armenian Revolutionary Federation
  • Moshe Katsav, President of Israel
  • Dan Halutz, Chief of General Staff
  • Shaul Mofaz, Minister of Defense
  • Economics

    Their combined net worth is $1.3 trillion (2006 est.) In 2000, the Iran Press Service reported that Iranian expatriates had invested between $200 and $400 billion in the United States, Europe, and China, but almost nothing in Iran. In Dubai, Iranian expatriates have invested an estimated $200 billion (2006). Migrant Iranian workers abroad remitted less than two billion dollars home in 2006.

    Expatriate fund

    The government has proposed setting up a joint investment fund with $5 billion in basic capital and an economic union to serve Iranians living abroad. The stated goal is to attract investment from Iranian expatriates and using their experience in stimulating foreign investments. Later, in 2010, it was announced that Iran will start the process by creating a national fund with a basic capital of eight million euros. This fund will later transform into a bank.

    The currency used in the fund is the euro and investors are supported by the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran. Iran will pay a guaranteed 10 percent interest on foreign investment. The value of each share in the fund is 1,000 euros. The minimum and the maximum investment amounts are 100,000 and 500,000 shares [sic], respectively.

    Religious affiliation

    A number of Iranians have converted to Christianity in the diaspora from the predominant Shia Islam. While this group accounts for rather a small percentage of the total diaspora population, it is now far from marginal, with dozens of Iranian churches existing throughout countries with significant Iranian communities, inclunding the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany. There also notable groups of Baha'i and Jewish Iranians.

    A significant number of Iranians abroad are irreligious, Agnostic and Atheist. While reliable statistics are difficult to come by, it is safe to say that the percentage of irreligious Iranians is significantly higher in the diaspora than in Iran, particularly with regard to Iranian-Americans and those living in Europe and Canada.


    Iranian diaspora Wikipedia

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