Wednesday, March 09, 2005

'Majority of Iranians Want to Emigrate'

The dream of many young Iranians is to leave the country, and half consider themselves secular.

These surprising findings emerged from a newly released study of Iranians aged between 15 and 29, by Iran's National Youth Organization. The government body is directed by Rahim Ebadi, adviser to Iran's President Syed Mohammad Khatami, and brother of human rights lawyer and Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi.

A total of 44 per cent of young people surveyed wish to leave Iran, and 50 per cent say they are secular and believe that helping others is more important than prayer.

Professor Mohammad Saiid Zokaii, coordinator of the team of university researchers who carried out the survey said its finding were "worrying" and " the sign of deep divide between the Islamic Republic and youth".