Iran's Brain Drain Is the West's Gain

The best engineering and science grads leave with no plans to return
A conference at University of Tehran on Dec. 3, 2013 Photograph by Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Drawing on a cigarette in his flat in central Tehran, Araz Alipour can count on one hand the number of friends who stayed in Iran after college. “Easily 90 percent of them have gone overseas,” the 29-year-old software developer says, reflecting on the flight of many of the nation’s science and engineering students. “Of my 45 university classmates, maybe five remain.”

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