US House Resolution 967 Recognizes 100th Anniversary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution
As it has become an annual tradition, the seventh Portland Iranian Festival took place on the first Saturday of August at the campus of Portland State University in downtown Portland, Oregon. This festival that was first organized seven years ago attracts thousands of Portlanders every year. The time and location of the Festival coincides with Portland Farmers Market and the Annual Bread Festival and brings tens of thousands of people to the PSU campus. This event offers great exposure to tens of NGO's and Iranian organizations and private businesses that participate in the Festival. From the very first year one of the objectives of the organizers was to introduce Iranians as a community proud of its heritage, culture and arts, that serves the host country as best as it possibly can. Business men and women, a wide variety of professions, artists, and politicians have participated in the Festival in the past and this year was no exception. AIFC also had a booth and offered information about its goals and objectives to many who stopped by and showed concerns and supports.
In addition every year an award is presented to an exemplary member of the community who is often time amongst the most outstanding citizens in the community at large. The awardees this year were the Iranian Women Association of Oregon for their tireless efforts in teaching Persian language to the community children.
On August 5th, 2006 which was the hundredth anniversary of the victory of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) was the keynote speaker at the Iranian Festival. A week earlier Blumenauer submitted the House Resolution (HR) 967 recognizing and honoring the 100th anniversary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution. This resolution, after an introductory recitation on the historic course of events that led to the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906,
The House of Representatives-
(1) recognizes and honors the 100th anniversary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution;
(2) commends the Iranian people for their tradition of constitutional rule and their historical willingness to stand up for freedom and independence;
(3) encourages friendship between the people of the United States and the people of Iran on the basis of shared values; and
(4) recognizes that a strong understanding of Iranian history is critical to the development of constructive policy towards Iran.
Mr. Morteza Anoushiravani, former Portland Water Bureau Director and a long time leader of the community, introduced Congressman Blumenauer. In his remarks the Congressman officially announced his efforts and sponsorship of the resolution HR 967 and passionately spoke of the historic role that Iranians played in the course of the constitutional revolution. Among other items, he noted that Iran has the oldest legislative body in the Middle East that has been in place for more than 100 years. He recalled his first exposure to the history of the world while he was a student of professor Rassekh, an Iranian professor, at Lewis and Clark College some years ago. Congressman Blumenauer outlined the details of the constitutional revolution, praising the democratic ambitions of the Iranian people over the past century. He said "As Howard Baskerville, the American Presbyterian missionary teacher fought along the Iranian freedom fighters during the constitutional revolution, the American people should be with them today in their struggle for democracy". He then criticized US actions in the 1953 overthrow of Dr. Mossadegh's government and raised the question: "What would be the situation in the Middle East today if that democratically elected government had not been overthrown by the CIA backed coup d'etat?" Congressman then argued that in any solution to problems in the region, Iranian participation is needed and emphasized on portion of the HR 967 that "recognizes that a strong understanding of Iranian history is critical to the development of constructive policy towards Iran."
After the keynote speech, Dr. Goudarz Eghtedari praised Congressman Blumenauer's outreach to the Iranian community and emphasized that congressman has treated his Iranian-American constituency like a true statesman. "Contrary to another resolution introduced by Congressman King, Congressman Blumenauer's resolution not only looks to the history but also to the future and suggests clear solutions for the current struggle" Eghtedari said. Dr. Franz Rad, professor of Civil Engineering at PSU and a member of AIFC presented Congressman Blumenauer with a plaque of appreciation award for outstanding service to the people of Oregon and exemplary recognition of the Iranian-American citizens of the USA. After the ceremony the Congressman met with the leaders of the community and proposed to meet with them on a regular base to coordinate actions of the mutual interest.