In an astonishing fashion, the official Iranian government spokesperson recently announced that any dissatisfied citizen not only is more than welcome to migrate internationally, but that they would also be provided a stipend for their citizenship.
Said another way, if you don’t like our corrupt, injustice, devalued human rights, and oppressive regime, you are welcome to leave – permanently. We will even compensate you: $10,000 USD for you, $5,000 for your spouse and $2,000 for each child. Otherwise comply or risk detention, rape, or murder as other viable options on the menu.
In the past three decades, Iranian citizenship has experienced dramatic dilution in international acceptance and creditability. Consider this; as late as the 1970s U.S. was the sole country requiring an admissions visa; compare that to today where only 16 of an estimated 196 countries allow Iranian citizens entry. It has not been an incremental but exponential change in how Iranian citizens are perceived. Beyond its official status for cross border travel, one’s passport is an internationally recognized brand of a nationality, culture, and its global Reputation Capital – unfortunately Iran’s is currently at its lowest in centuries.
Iranian citizens should celebrate this day with Joyous pride in how their government is treating its citizens. In our work with multitude of global organizations, I cannot fathom the senior leadership / board encouraging and compensating its top talent to leave. Iran’s self-proclaimed governance model as “an inspiration for 100 other countries to follow” as claimed by Ahmadinejad is clearly flawed in this situation with this announcement.
How much is each citizen worth? And how does a government determine its ROI and lifetime value? How do you price culture, education, and global impact? How do you price talent, knowledge, and unparalleled sense of patriotism? How do you price love for one’s country, family, and sense of belonging? If you are asked to leave your own country where do you become a citizen of?
With an all time low brand perception and a “seller” that sees little to no value in its citizens, who would be a prospective “buyer?” Considering Iran’s current identity crisis, this is not a sale of its citizens but a disposal – with paid expenses.
In the past few decades Iranian citizens have been bartered, traded for political capital, manipulated for diplomacy and murdered in the name of religious freedom. Unfortunately much of it without success for the oppressive regime or the improved lives of its citizens; interesting perspective for the Iranian government to use revenues from its natural resources to expel its citizens. In essence proclaiming you are not worthy of an investment other than as an export.
The one-size-fits-all pricing is consistent with the communism-inspired governance model where a villager barely able to read is perceived to have the same export value as the PhD. This ridiculous notion reiterates why after three decades of oppression, this regime must go!