March 15, 2010

House Passes Historic Norooz Resolution

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council applauds the passage moments ago by the House of Representatives of H.Res.267, the Norooz Resolution, and commends Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) for championing this historic resolution.

NIAC also expresses its warmest thanks and congratulations to the Iranian-American community for all of its hard work over the past year to ensure passage of the Norooz Resolution.  Today’s victory is a culmination of this hard work.

“The National Iranian American Council has put together an enormous grassroots undertaking to advocate for the Norooz resolution, and their efforts on this are to be commended,” said Representative Honda.  “Today, as the House recognizes Norooz, we also celebrate the success of this grassroots effort and the contributions of Iranian-Americans to our society.”

The Norooz Resolution passed by a 384-2 vote, marking the first time in history that the House of Representatives officially recognizes the “cultural and historical significance” of the Iranian New Year.  The resolution also expresses appreciation “for the contributions of Iranian-Americans to society in the United States” and wishes Iranian-Americans, Iranians, and all who celebrate Norooz a happy andprosperous New Year.

“As we gather with our friends and family to celebrate the New Year, we can take pride in having achieved an unprecedented victory in gaining Congressional recognition for one of our most cherished traditions,” said Trita Parsi, NIAC President.  “Today’s passage of the Norooz Resolution is not only a testament to the richness and durability of our culture, it is a demonstration that, when we join our voices together, the Iranian-American community cannotbe ignored.”

Since Rep. Honda introduced the Norooz Resolution in March 2009, NIAC and PAAIA have issued numerous calls to action.  Iranian-Americans have responded to every challenge to ensure that this measure would be passed, sending thousands of emails to their Representatives in Congress.  In February 2010, these efforts led to the resolution obtaining its 50th cosponsor, enabling it to be considered by Congressional Committee.  Once the measure passed unanimously out of Committee, NIAC members responded yet again and successfully urged the House Majority Leader to schedule a vote for the Norooz Resolution intime for the New Year. 

“There are so many issues of great importance to the Iranian-American community, from addressing shortcomings in immigration policies to reforming sanctions that harm innocent Iranians,” said Jamal Abdi, NIAC Policy Director.  “It is critical that policymakers hear from Iranian-Americans when they consider these issues.  Today’s passage of the Norooz Resolution shows that, when we work together, there is no limit to the success we can achieve.”




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