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Iran Parliament approves key bill aimed at attracting assets in exile

Parliament on Tuesday approved the general outlines of a key bill on reinstating the nationality of Iranians who have been stripped of that, in an effort to convince the country's skilled elite and entrepreneurs in exile to return home, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Under the existing law, no Iranian can hold dual nationality, which, according to rapporteur of the parliament's legal commission, has discouraged Iranian diaspora from returning home.

"This issue has caused those Iranians, who intend to return home, to show no interest in doing so," Mohammad Kazemi said.

The new arrangement, however, is conditional on the approval of the Council of Ministers, which would decide on the Foreign Ministry's proposal to grant an expatriate with Iranian nationality only once.

The parliament also approved to abolish an article which required the immovable or fixed property of those stripped of Iranian nationality be sold on the order of the prosecutor general.

Kazemi said that the abolition was aimed at 'attracting investment as well as the elite' who have qualification in various academic subjects and skills from foreign, mostly western, schools.

To be turned into a full-blown law, the bill has to receive the green light of the supervisory Guardians Council which vets whether a law complies with the Islamic tenets as well as the Constitution.

The measures come in the face of regularly media reports about an 'unprecedented' urge among Iranian youth to quit the country in search of greener pastures.

According to unconfirmed press reports, over 90 percent of Iranians who win in world scientific contests are attracted by western countries.

They have also cited officials as saying that more than 420,000 Iranian university graduates have left the country in recent years.

The Iranian population, estimated at 62 million, is one of the world's youngest, with 35 million people under the age of 20.

Officials have said that the US was benefitting the most from the migration of the Iranian intelligentsia and university graduates.

"The Iranian nation is spending hefty amounts on training and education of these migrants and their flight strikes a deadly blow to the country," MP Hossein Loqmanian has said.

Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has described as 'bitter and unpalatable' the trend of 'brain drain' in Iran and appealed for all-out measures to stop the migration of Iranian educated.

... Payvand News - 7/29/03 ... --

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