As President Trump Signals A Tough Stance On Iran, Dubai Says It Will Open The Door Wider

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Elizabeth MacBride

Kamran Elahian has seen some of this before.

The Iranian-American entrepreneur and global philanthropist is watching the chaos around the new president’s tougher stance toward Iran, including new sanctions and a temporary ban on travel by Iranians to the United States.

In 1979, Elahian, then a young computer expert living in the United States, was stopped at the Boston airport by security guards after a trip to Europe for a NATO conference on computer networking.

“They said, ‘Why did you take our people hostage?’ I said, ‘I didn’t take anybody hostage.’”

After questioning him for hours, the guards let him go. He went on to found a half-dozen companies during Silicon Valley’s first heyday, including Cirrus Logic, which went public and chip maker Centillium.

Through decades of waxing and waning enmity between the governments of United States and Iran, there has been a steady pipeline of highly educated Iranians emigrating to the United States, many who have gone on to be entrepreneurs. For instance, there are thousands of Iranian students studying at universities now, according to a web site called the Iranian Americans Contributions project, a data mining site that works by identifying Iranian names.

Now, the question is whether that flow of talent will remain. Though there have been periods of tension before, this time around may be different because of the nature of the Trump presidency and the growing appeal of alternatives to the United States – places like Dubai, that are determined to become centers of innovation.

*Source: Forbes

*These views represent those of the author and are not necessarily Iran Review's viewpoints.




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