I could not agree more with you. I guess this recognition says a lot about the Iranians and their ability to make something great with little resources they have.
I think the day when sanctions against Iran are removed, Persian Gulf airlines will start to struggle. One, Iran's geographical position is far more threatening than that of Turkey (in relation to Turkish Airlines' growth and its impact on the Gulf carriers) and two, Iran has a massive O&D demand which will stimulate growth and facilitate frequencies.
I think if this does happen Emirates' network in India would suffer the most. Due to Iran's good ties with India I think the access of Iranian airlines to the Indian market would be far more liberal than that of the Persian Gulf carriers.