To the executives of Google and Apple:
I am Persian. In 1979, when I was just two years old, revolution upended Iran and permanently altered the country’s foundation. His vocation as an academic made my father a direct target of the new regime, and so — like so many other families — we fled Iran and began again in the United States. That was exactly 40 years ago. Today, I am a father, a husband and an entrepreneur with a deep love of America, but I think often of the country to which I have still been unable to return.
Iran is a land of strong-willed people. It is a land of grit and of hard-earned success. I see that most clearly in its emergent generation of entrepreneurs, birthed from the country’s 30+% unemployment rates. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that Iran’s entrepreneurship sector is skyrocketing; in 2018 alone, the country moved up 13 spots on the Global Entrepreneurship Index. And the goals driving these new businesses are equally as impressive — things like improving women’s education, sustainability, urban waste management, advocacy of the arts. Forbes has said that Iran could become an entrepreneurial powerhouse, “if nothing gets in the way.” Unfortunately, Google and Apple are doing just that.