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“It was hard for a lot of people who lost everything.

But their kids—we learned that the sky is the limit.” Less insular and more civic-minded than their elders, these young parents, professionals and entrepreneurs represent some of America’s wealthiest and most educated immigrant offspring.

“We got to design a city—projects I can’t even dream of now.”The country’s Jewish minority thrived, at least in Tehran’s educated quarters, thanks to the Shah’s official policy of religious tolerance and cultural openness.

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From the street, the Nazarian pile looks like a particularly frothy wedding cake propped up by a forest of fluted columns.

The interior, according to visitors, is an extravaganza of polished marble, sweeping staircases and gilt rococo furniture, a nominally French style favored by Iran’s late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The time has clearly come—as politicians, savvy businesspeople and charity fundraisers have realized—to meet the neighbors in Beverly Hills.

In his office above Wilshire Boulevard, architect Hamid Gabbay, 66, traces the dazzling success of the Persian community in Beverly Hills back to Tehran before the revolution.

Another group of brothers, the Yadegars, also arrived in Beverly Hills before the revolution and began snapping up real estate.

Today so many Persians own stakes in Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle, the prime streets between Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, that the area is known to some as “Tehrangeles.” (Another Persian shopping district in Westwood has also earned that moniker.)The area’s attractions were obvious: Beverly Hills was synonymous with wealth and status, plus it delivered a beautiful climate, safe residential neighborhoods and a well-established Jewish community.

Jimmy Delshad, who made local history in 2007 by becoming the first Iranian-American mayor of Beverly Hills, left modest origins in Shiraz in 1959 and attended California State University at Northridge with his brothers.

“I don’t think there were more than 10 or 12 [Persian] families we knew in Los Angeles,” he says.

But in fleeing his country’s political turmoil, he had to leave most of his assets behind, arriving at a run-down hotel in Santa Monica with, as Younes recalls, “four suitcases and four children.” (The Nazarians are now part owners of the hotel.)Younes and his brother, Parviz, relied on contacts with other Persian Jewish immigrants—“Our best asset in this country was our few friends,” he notes—and established a factory building machine parts for such clients as the Department of Defense.

Several years later, the brothers were brought into a fledgling telecom company, Qualcomm, and their millions ballooned into billions.

But perhaps the key asset was the then top-notch school system.

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