Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, approximately five million Iranians have left their homeland to begin new lives in free countries where they could build better futures for themselves and their children. This has been the most important wave of Iranian emigration in recent history. Nearly half of Iranian immigrants live in successful communities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. But tens of thousands more Iranians are trapped as refugees in countries including Turkey and Greece, living in harsh conditions, and waiting with little hope for a country to welcome them.
Iranian Diaspora presents scholarly essays written about the experience of Iranians in eight countries: the United States, five countries in Europe, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. The book seeks to help readers "determine the extent to which Iranian immigration dynamics across different countries aggregate into a unity of experience." The essays have two goals: "(1) to understand and describe how Iranians in diaspora (re)define and maintain their ethnonational identity and (2) to explore their integration challenges." In order to do so, the authors, who are academics and researchers with a focus on Iranian immigrants, consider the relationships among the Iranian diaspora, the countries where they reside, and Iran.
Iranian Diaspora is an important book that provides valuable insights into the Iranian immigrant experience. The book correctly notes that the integration of Iranian immigrants has been negatively affected by "prejudice, discrimination, and media stereotype." Meanwhile, the book underlines that "the educational and economic success of Iranians [in the United States] has been remarkable." Similarly, Iranians in Europe and Canada constitute very successful immigrant communities.
But Mobasher also blames Iranian immigrants for "framing" the Iranian government, suggesting that "supporters of the former regime and other political opponents and disenchanted Iranians in diaspora conceived and constructed a horrific image of the Islamic government and ... the Iranian Revolution and its aftermath." However, his criticism is misplaced, as the major blame should be placed on the Iranian regime, whose actions have caused irreparable damage to Iran, forced millions of Iranians to live in exile indefinitely, and undermined the standing of the Iranian community abroad.