Iran says all the expats who haven’t served their compulsory conscription can pay €15,000 ($17,000) to buy their freedom from military service.
A member of the budget committee in the Iranian parliament, Mohammad-Reza Mirtajodini, said the plan only includes the absentees who are living abroad and at least five years have passed from their conscription due date.
He said the purpose of this law is that these people do not face any problem in traveling back to the country.
The new price for the service is in line with President Ebrahim Raisi’s efforts to encourage expats to return and invest in Iran’s cash-strapped economy that is struggling under heavy inflation and international sanctions.
According to Iran’s constitution, all men over 18 years old must serve in the military for about two years otherwise they cannot apply for a passport to leave the country. Most of them are drafted into the traditional Army, but some with the right connections serve with the Revolutionary Guard where conditions are much better.
In some especial cases, including being accepted by foreign universities, they can pay a hefty deposit and postpone their service, but the money is not refundable if they stay out of the country beyond the timespan of their education.
The offer is unlikely to have resonance among expat Iranian, who mostly left the country because of economic and social pressures.