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International intruigue, yours for $4.6 million. (MRIS)

Back in the heady days of 2002, when we were liberating Iraq and democratizing Afghanistan, newly-elected Afghan president Hamid Karzai sent the country’s first ambassador to the United States since 1978: The esteemed Ishaq Shahryar, already known around the world as the inventor of the solar photovoltaic cell for terrestrial applications. It didn’t take long, though, for the scientist to get fed up with international politics. In 2003, he resigned in frustration, saying that Karzai “has no vision—absolutely no vision, no quality for leadership.” But he kept the Kalorama mansion he’d bought for $2.6 million, and kept busy by founding a new solar company in 2008.

Well, Shahryar died last year, and the estate is finally offloading his 10-bedroom, seven-bathroom mansion for two million more than he paid for it, at $4.595 million. Don’t expect that to last though—a house on the same street being marketed by the same broker is down a million after sitting on the market for over a year.

Too bad the late solar entrepreneur couldn’t put solar panels on his historically-designated house!