Iranian Americans Gather in Support of Senator Gordon Smith
Washington, D.C. - On September 25, 2007, Iranian American friends of Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) gathered at the Potomac home of Yousef & Cheryl Javadi to support Smith's reelection bid.
Gordon Smith was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996. An independent thinker, Senator Smith is highly regarded by his fellow Oregonians who have a long-standing independent, maverick political culture that often goes against prevailing national trends. Smith has become know for his ability and willingness to cross party lines when he believes doing so is in the best interest of his constituents and America.
Mr. Javadi began the evening by welcoming Senator Smith and sharing with him some facts about the Iranian American community. Javadi also cited 2000 U.S. Census figures, which show Iranian Americans amongst the most educated and affluent ethnic groups in the United States.
Following Mr. Javadi's comments, Mrs. Fariba Jahanbani, a member of the event host committee, introduced Smith, calling him a long time friend of the Iranian American community.
In his speech, Smith recognized Iranian American contributions to American society. "I still marvel at the nascent power and remarkable contributions of Iranian Americans to the diversity of America," he said. Smith thanked Iranian Americans for participating in American public life and encouraged them to continue to do so.
Senator Smith went on to acknowledge some of the civil liberty related concerns of the Iranian American community. "Since 9/11 many Iranian American friends have expressed to me the sense of insecurity they feel," Smith said. “We must work to implement protections against bias related crimes." Smith explained that he was a sponsor of hate crime legislation to encompass crimes against homosexuals and that he would consider sponsoring a resolution condemning discrimination against Iranian Americans.
Guests at the fundraiser took advantage of the forum to discuss their views on a number of pertinent issues with Senator Smith, including U.S. - Iranian relations. Smith acknowledged the difficulties that U.S. policymakers have in dealing with the Iranian government but at the same time appealing to the Iranian people. Throughout the evening, Smith showed elegance, affection, and a willingness to understand the issues of importance to Iranian Americans.