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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


Iranian American Republican Council elects new president

From Goli Ameri
Iranian American Republican Council

Thank you to everyone who attended the 11th annual Iranian American Republican Council (IARC) Convention in Portland, Oregon on Saturday February 20th. It proved to be an educational, successful and entertaining event and a springboard for future dialogue on a diversity of thoughts and ideas. There were ample opportunities on Friday and Saturday evenings for members and guests to interact, share ideas and discuss the future of the Iranian-American community.

IARC elected a new National President, Mr. Ali Bayrami of Orange County, California. My Bayrami is the Chief Operating Officer of UEI, a post-secondary educational institution. He has also been a gubernatorial appointee to the California Council for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education. Mr. Bayrami vowed to attract more Iranian-Americans to the IARC cause through further use of cyberspace, political chat rooms, and Netzines.

This email serves to introduce the new VP of Communications of the Iranian-American Republican Council, Mr. Shayan Samii of Los Angles, as well as to give everyone a summary of IARC's 11th annual Convention in Portland, Oregon. I would like to encourage everyone to inform Shayan of all important events in their communities so that we can maintain IARC's strong link. From now on, please direct all inquiries and information to Shayan at

Meeting with Senator Gordon Smith

Senator Gordon Smith, R-Oregon, a long time friend of the Iranian-American community, spoke at the business meeting on Saturday and responded to questions. Senator Smith talked about the dual contributions of Iranian-Americans to the United States: high educational level and hard work as well as a rich cultural heritage. He urged our community to become even more politically active, to get to know and support the lawmakers, so that our voices could be heard and our concerns addressed.

Regarding the impeachment trial of President Clinton, he added that "There is a right way of doing the right thing, and there is a wrong way of doing the right thing", and it was unfortunate that the Republicans may have chosen the second option. He felt confident that the Republicans have learned valuable lessons from the trial which will propel them to become more unified and less acrimonious in the future. Senator Smith's comments were so genuine and heart-warming that the California delegation invited him to "run" in the Golden State. He responded that if he ever ran in California, it would be as President, a comment which generated a great deal of enthusiasm.


IARC delegates passed two important resolutions during their business meeting, thereby setting a segment of the the Council's agenda for the next few years. For one, IARC unanimously decided to to mount a focused national campaign in the US to increase the awareness of Persons of Iranian origin on the significance and relevance of the census (2000) process and its results on the economic, social, cultural, and political lives of this community.

The organization also established a long range planning and advisory committee called IARC 2020 to define IARC's specific and measurable goals by the year 2020 and the ways and means to achieve said objectives.

A motion to define IARC as pro-business, pro-choice and to support some form of gun control was tabled. The group also resolved to further refine its national elections process thereby giving a more equitable representation to those states with smaller Iranian-American populations.

Lobbying Techniques

Dan Lavey, one of the nation's top campaign advisers (and the former Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Gordon Smith) and Roger Martin a lobbyist, presented a seminar on the details and intricacies of lobbying:

* Promising to deliver block votes (of Iranian-Americans for example) is not credible unless it is closely matched by fundraising.

* It is very important to become part of the immediate family of a candidate before they are elected.

* The staff of Congressmen and Senators are the gatekeepers and therefore just as important as the lawmakers themselves. It is important to establish a solid friendship with these individuals.

* Iranian-Americans can just as easily run for office as their all American counterparts if they have a message, a vision, the desire and sufficient support to raise the necessary funds.

Congressman Robert Ney

Congressman Robert Ney was the keynote speaker at the evening gala, and dazzled the audience with his mastery of the Persian lanugage. He worked in the Peace Corps in Shiraz for two years. Congressman Ney congratulated the audience on their active political involvment and said that based on his experiences in Iran, he expected no less from Iranian-American community. He added that he has been encouraged by the elections in Iran and the slow democratization process, and that he envisioned a day when relations between the United States and Iran would be normalized. Congressman Ney ended the evening dancing to the music of Marteek along side 360 other Iranian-Americans and Americans alike. Next year's convention will be held in Orange County California and the date will be publicized six months before the event. goli ameri


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