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Headlines: Khamenei Urges 'Expat Elite' to Return

31 Aug 2010 23:5515 Comments

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. Click on the link to the story to read it in full. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the stories in perspective. You can follow other news stories through our Twitter feed.

Supreme Leader urges expat elite to return

Leader.ir | Aug 29

Addressing thousands of university students in Tehran on Sunday, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appeared to acknowledge the "brain drain" phenomenon in Iran, explaining that it usually happened because of promises made abroad. But "some of these promises are tainted with anti-Iran motives," he said.

Khamenei said "religious and divine motives" could prompt "expatriate elite to return."

The Supreme Leader went on to tell students to distance themselves from the "political wrangling in the country," advising that "differences of opinion should not lead to divisions and friction." He also urged students to adopt a stance on key issues facing the country, including the "Tehran Declaration, the UN Security Council resolution on Iran sanctions and Washington's unilateral sanctions against Tehran."

Khamenei backs Iran plan to scrap subsidies

AFP | Aug 31

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has backed the Iranian government's plan to scrap subsidies in the coming weeks, despite concerns from some conservatives of its inflationary impact.

Khamenei has asked the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to "seriously apply... the plan for removing subsidies," state news agency IRNA reported late Monday quoting the all-powerful leader as telling members of the government, including Ahmadinejad.

"The people have embraced you (Ahmadinejad) for slogans such as those seeking justice, adherence to religion and fighting arrogance," Iran's spiritual guide added.

"Thus, you should attempt to maintain these policies with determination and intensity."

Iran distances itself from insult to Bruni-Sarkozy

AP | Aug 31

Iran has sought to distance itself from harsh remarks by a hard-line newspaper, which called France's first lady a "prostitute" for condemning the stoning sentence against an Iranian woman convicted of adultery.

In comments Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says "insulting" foreign dignitaries like Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is incorrect and not sanctioned by the government.

The Kayhan daily first called Bruni-Sarkozy a "prostitute" Saturday. It repeated the criticism Tuesday. Like the Iranian woman, it said, she too deserves to die.

Iran says it will make fuel for research reactor

AP | Aug 30

Iran claimed Monday that it will produce fuel for a research reactor that makes medical isotopes within a year, a project likely to add to Western concerns about the country's nuclear ambitions.

Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran will continue to enrich uranium to the level of 20 percent to produce fuel for the reactor in the capital Tehran, the official IRNA news agency reported Monday.

"From today, we will produce the complete fuel required for the Tehran research reactor within one year," Salehi was quoted by IRNA as saying.

Mother of slain Iranian protester seeks justice

AP | Aug 30

The mother of a slain Iranian woman who became an icon for opposition protesters said she has no doubt that pro-government forces were to blame for her daughter's death, according to comments released Monday by a rights group.

"She went out to protest and was killed by their (government) forces. There is no other story," said Rostami in rare public comments to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, which has offices in New York and Washington.

In Iran, Brutal Repression Against Bus Drivers, Other Unionists Continues

In These Times | Aug 30

At least three members of the Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate are currently in prison and several others are facing suspended sentences or upcoming hearings that could lead to imprisonment. On August 1, bus drivers union leader Mansour Osanloo was sentenced to an additional one year term on charges related to supposed links with illegal opposition groups. He has been in and out of prison for the past five years. Osanloo's daughter-in-law has also been attacked and tortured.

Iran vs. U.S. is not a political game, Matic says

Tehran Times | Aug 30

Iran basketball coach Veslin Matic said today that the game against the U.S is not a political match.

"Everybody talks about the Iran- U.S match. In my opinion, this match is like the other matches. Basketball is just a game and it is not political at all," Matic added.

"Iran participated in the FIBA World Championships to make its dreams come true. That's why we took part in the event," Matic said.

Kurdish style 'Romeo and Juliette' to go on stage in Tehran

Mehr | Aug 30

Iranian stage director Amir Dejakam plans to stage a Kurdish version of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliette."

The play preserves the main concept of the Shakespearean original, but narrates the story in a contemporary style and adapts it to Persian culture, he added.

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"They say there is a brain drain. Let these decayed brains flee. Do not mourn them, let them pursue their own definitions of being. Is every brain with - what you call - science in it honorable? Shall we sit and mourn the brains that escaped? Shall we worry about these brains fleeing to the US and the UK? Let these brains flee and be replaced by more appropriate brains. Now that they (the Islamic Republic) are filtering, you are sitting worried why they are executing [people]? Why are you discussing these rotten brains of [these] lost people? Why are you questioning Islam? Are they fleeing? To hell with them. Let them flee. They were not scientific brains. All the better. Don't be concerned. They should escape. [Iran] is not a place for them to live any more. These fleeing brains are of no use to us. Let them flee. If you know that this is no place for you, you should flee too."
Interview with Ettelaat newspaper, آیت الله روح الله خمینی در ملاقات با اعضای کمیته امداد روزنامه اطلاعات، 9 آبان ماه 1358

These "religeous and divine motives" are why some of the brightest children of Iran left to begin with! Any true man or woman of science detests everything that Khamenei and his regime represents. If the sciences didn't offer material benefits for the regime the mullahs would have banned them by now in the same way that they have banned music and are trying to ban the humanities. Curious and critical minds are deadly to these people. Good thing they are also necessary for scientific and technological progress.

Cy / August 31, 2010 10:47 PM

There is no reason for any Iranian who is successful abroad to return to Iran as long as Khamenei and likes of him are in power.Actually, there is every reason not to return to Iran! Khamenei is afraid Iranian expatriates get united to challenge him.

Amin / August 31, 2010 11:35 PM

Wow, Cy. That quote certainly puts everything in perspective. What is the western date? Here's yet another reason students will be anxious to leave:

Universities That Oppose Values of Iranian Regime 'Should Be Destroyed'

Iran's science minister has said universities that are against the values of the regime and its Basij militia should be razed to the ground, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

A friend of mine from Tehran is now happily pursuing her post-graduate degree in Australia, and I don't think she and her equally well-educated husband will be going back to live in Iran anytime soon. The IRI has no one but itself to blame.

Catherine / September 1, 2010 11:45 AM

The "Kayhan Daily"? I have argued vigorously against attacking Iran,but bastards like that make me think twice about whether there isn't some merit in the idea after all,as long as it's only them that cop it.Only the lowest scum encourage and perpetrate violence to women,and truly deserve to be "wiped off the map",and flushed down the toilet for the filth they are.If Iran wants to be considered a decent nation,STOP EXECUTING WOMEN (especially),or deserve to be gone.If you don't understand why,there's no point explaining,any more than to argue with a reptile.

Steve / September 1, 2010 4:53 PM

Hi Catherine,
The date for the qoute is Oct 31st 1980, only months after the revolution. It's well-known among Iranians and is one of Khomeini's many gems. Wikipedia has a decent page titled "Iran's brain drain" which features the quote.
Steve, I don't think those who argue for an attack on Iran do it for the sake of women's rights. Regardless of whether bombing Iran at this stage is justified or not, women are most likely going to suffer more in the aftermath, living under a wounded yet more aggressive Islamic Republic. I think worse than invading a country whose people live under tyranny is to just throw in a couple of bombs on it and then leave the people to face the consequences as far as the regime's internal repression, which will almost certainly intensify, is concerned.
My personal assessment is that the treatment of women under the Islamic Republic will be judged by history to be the most tragic characteristic of this period. I believe it will overshadow everything else that clerical rule brought with itself, be it unnecessary war, economic malaise or political executions. It's one thing to eliminate your political rivals by force, it's an entirely different thing to officially devalue a human being on an intrinsic level and enshrine it in law on multiple fronts. Yet I have no doubt whatsoever that all of this will pass at some point and Iranian women will come out of this nightmare as the strong and confident individuals that they have proven to be. In no small part thanks to individuals like Shiva Nazar Ahari and the generation that they represent.

Cy / September 1, 2010 8:58 PM

Note to Khamenei: Smarter and better educated people tend to prefer more democratic government and civil society.

JohnCan / September 2, 2010 12:52 AM

Just about every one I knew in Iran (who's been able to) has already left and is now living abroad, and NONE are planning to go back.

I wonder if any one has calculated the financial loss of this "brain drain" to the country. I heard that it is already many times costlier than the 8-year Iran-Iraq war.

Ahvaz / September 2, 2010 4:25 AM


May I suggest a prozac, xanax, or simply a glass of wine?

Also, the space key might be of use to you in your future as well.

You never know, if you take my advice you may possibly approach something that may vaguely resemble a coherent thought.

B / September 2, 2010 6:01 AM

Cy / September 1, 2010 8:58 PM

well written

..""I think worse than invading a country whose people live under tyranny is to just throw in a couple of bombs on it and then leave the people to face the consequences as far as the regime's internal repression, which will almost certainly intensify, is concerned""...

a very good argument pointed out...may i add the most significant consequence would be the sky high rise of executions of liberals and students, as anyone who opposes the system will be labeled as a war time spy; and that means, stand before the shooting squad without even a show trial court

Alal / September 2, 2010 10:46 AM


I didn't argue for bombing Iran,I have posted a fair bit opposing it elsewhere on this site,I said bastardry like that cited makes me think twice,which it does,if only those responsible for it were the targets.Of course in reality it's not that simple,innocents would of course suffer due to both sides.But I agree about your broader point-Iran has stained its record badly in this regard (though not alone),and it will come back to haunt them,as such things always do anywhere,sooner or later.It may in fact be that by going too far in such ways they have fatally undermined their own "cause" for good,when "what goes round comes round".The further they push it now the sooner (and harder) it will happen,it's a law of history.It's not enough to claim God is on your side,you have to live up to it,in spirit no less than to the letter.Last time I looked the Quran enjoined mercy first and foremost (even for the thief etc-given repentance),and left the final judgement to God.Yet somehow we have little two legged would be gods that delight in denying mercy-though they demand it for themselves-"hypocrites" was the Quranic term I believe-and the Fires of Hell their promised reward.


Your attempt at sarcasm was lame and way off mark.Take your own prozac,or whatever,I don't need it,and the space key? What are you on about? My thought was perfectly "coherent",look it up in the dictionary before you lecture others about it.What's the "B" for,are you trying to imply you are one of the subjects of my blast? If so then slither back into your hole like a good snake.Garbage like the Kayhan spewed will maybe bring the bombs yet,in spite of any sympathy some of us have for the Iranian people and nation.

Steve / September 2, 2010 11:26 AM

Who is their right mind wants to live under a brutal, barbaric, backward islamist tyranny?

Agha Irani / September 2, 2010 1:51 PM


Much like the Iranian people, the space key is your friend, not your enemy. But I see you are going to be obstinate on this point.

For the simple Kayran reader can you please clarify:

"If Iran wants to be considered a decent nation, STOP EXECUTING WOMEN (especially),or deserve to be gone"

If a country executes a female, they should "be gone"? And how would you suggest they "be gone"? Also, as an American, I imagine you will be moving because America will soon "be gone" too.

B / September 2, 2010 8:44 PM


What the hell are you on about with the space key? Is it a roundabout way of saying "shut up"? Have the guts to say what you mean or "shut up" yourself.
As to my other comment,I don't mean the whole Iranian nation of course,by any means,just the regime,or that segment that treats women like that to be even more precise.And deserving to be gone is not the fact of it (ie being gone),something most thugs don't grasp.I am not a US citizen,though close,and my country of origin does not execute anyone anymore.I condemn it anywhere,especially for so called "crimes" that are neither universally recognized as such nor deserving of death at state hands by any reasonable measure (the ultimate criminal cowardice in unjustified-by the strictest standards-cases).Mass murder is maybe worthy of death,that's about it.Or perhaps aggravated murder of those weaker than yourself,without genuine mitigating circumstances-and proven beyond doubt.But so called adultery (almost impossible to prove under Islamic law anyway),and fitted up murder charges against an obviously influenced and abused woman,forget it.Plus vile insults and implied threats against a foreign President's wife (or any woman),keep up that stuff and you can go to hell,with compliments.Or change for the better and show the others up for it-if you are capable of it.Leave that medieval stuff behind if you want others to stop their "crusades".

Steve / September 3, 2010 12:50 PM


The space key is the longest key on your keyboard - in English we use it after a comma or a period. I'm only trying to help, why are you mad at me?

Your hostility towards assistance is ironic, given that you suggest bombing Iran to help the people of Iran. Wonder if Iranians would welcome a bombing campaign with the same level of irrationality that you displayed here.

Speaking of your denunciation of mass murder, I say you and I begin an organized a campaign to have America and Europe pay Iranian families reparations for assisting Saddam in his mass murder of Iranians.

B / September 3, 2010 7:49 PM


The use of the space key as suggested is purely optional,and personally I can't be bothered,I find it redundant,and even a bit annoying at times.So thanks for the suggestion but I will stick with my preference.

Actually I didn't suggest bombing Iran at all,quite the contrary,overall.However I made the point that certain Iranians may deserve to be bombed,if they carry on in unnacceptable ways,not by political prejudice but basic human rights.Of course they would hardly be alone in this world in that regard,but that doesn't excuse it.There are certain lines that may not be crossed without deserving universal condemnation,and brutal mistreatment of women and the helpless is one.Cross it and deserve to be condemned in the strongest terms,at least by those who are not similarly delinquent.On the other hand I would be impressed and praiseful of an Iran that of its own judgement and volition exercised mercy and justice in conformity with both Islam and general principles of justice concordant therewith,and ceased the unnecessary practise of executing women (or indeed anyone) for so called crimes that are not even considered capital in the Quran,than which Islam acknowledges no higher authority than God,and certainly within the scope of the mercy given repentance cited so often therein.Not to do so is to call into question the adherence to the spirit of religion and true Islam (ie the unchallenged core as opposed to mere secondary and disputed interpretation) that Iran proclaims,apart from general principles of justice and humanity.

I would be all for reparations to Iran in just cases,support of Saddam in his aggression certainly being a possible instance.However similar principles would of course have to apply in reverse,and generally.Thus wrongful cases of capital punishment by the Iranian government or officials thereof would be similarly liable to compensation,and in my opinion there are certainly some.All governments make mistakes,only the best admit it.No earthly government is infallible,even if it proclaims itself to be divinely guided,via its head,those below can err,for one thing.Also circumstances change.Governments that endure change with them,insofar as they may justly do so.God will not condemn mercy,by any reasonable understanding,but He will surely condemn those who fail to show it when it was called for in every sense.The past is the past,the future is what we must yet contend with.

Steve / September 6, 2010 5:16 PM