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Maurice “Morris” Motamed
Jewish Representatives to the Parliament

Maurice “Morris” Motamed


 

The engineer Maurice “Morris” Motamed was born in 1944 C.E. to a religious Jewish family of Hamedan.

He studied in the Ferdowsi Elementary and Takht-e Jamshid High Schools of Tehran. In 1967 C.E., he received his Associate Degree in Surveying and Cartography, and he was immediately employed by the National Cartographic Center, a subsidiary of the Planning and Budget Organization. Side by side work, he further pursued higher education, and in 1972, he received his Bachelors Degree from the School of Surveying, a subsidiary of the Khajeh Nassir Toosi University.

A year later, he won a scholarship from the international G.S.I. organization, Japan, which enabled him to pursue his graduate studies in Geodesy and Seismic Forecast in that country. In 1977 C.E., he received yet another scholarship from the I.T.C., University of Twente, Netherlands, to pursue a Certificate in Aerial Photogrammetry and Surveying.

Up until 1986, when he left the government sector after 20 years of service, Mohandess Maurice Motamed served at the Bachelor and Masters ranks, and chaired many crucial divisions.

Before long, he was absorbed into the private sector by an engineering consulting firm, which he would serve as the C.E.O. for the following 14 years.

In 2000 C.E., he set out on his most prominent social endeavor yet, when he won the Jewish seat in the Sixth Islamic Parliament, and began to serve as the Representative of the Jewish community in that legislative body, an office that required of him to give up his other positions. However, his social and philanthropic activities went back to 1982 C.E., when the charter of the Tehran Jewish Association was being revised. Afterwards, he aided the Jewish Association’s Committee in charge of building a kosher meat preparation facility. In 1986 C.E. he joined the Board of Directors of the Tehran Jewish Association, and until 2001, for four consecutive terms, he served as the Chair of the Real-Estate Properties Committee (two terms) and the Chair of the Association (two terms.)

In 2000 C.E., at the beginning of his term in the Parliament, Maurice Motamed accompanied the Speaker of the Sixth Parliament, Mr. Mehdi Karoubi, as the Representative of the Jewish community, on their trip to New York to participate in the United Nations General Assembly. Following the Assembly, he further accompanied Dr. Mohammad Khatami, the Iranian President, to the 2000 World Leaders Summit.

During the Sixth Parliament, Maurice Motamed was selected to the Energy Committee of the Parliament, in which capacity he visited the oil and gas industries of the North Sea, Russia, Malaysia, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, as the Deputy Chair of the Iran-Australia Parliamentary Friendship, he was honored to visit that country as a member of the Iranian Parliamentary team.

In 2004, by the majority vote of his constituency, Mohandess Maurice Motamed was re-elected for a second term as the Representative of the Jewish community to the Seventh Islamic Parliament. In summer 2004, he began his second term while he maintained his previous positions.

During the Seventh Parliament, he attended many international conferences on the interfaith dialogue held in the United States, Switzerland, Norway and Portugal.

During his two terms, and especially during the Sixth Parliament, Maurice Motamed garnered the most Parliamentary achievements concerning the religious minorities of Iran. Among them, he was instrumental in ratifying the law of the equality of dieh, i.e. the monetary retribution for the bodily harm or death inflicted upon another human being, according to which such retributions would thenceforth become equal whether the parties involved belonged to religious minorities or to the Muslim majority. Thus, he took a major step to revive and protect the rights of the minorities in Iran.

Also, in this regard, the Iranian Parliament approved an annual budget for the cultural, social and religious expenses of the religious minorities.

Ever since the Islamic Revolution, certain government organizations tended not to employ members of the religious minorities. By the persistent efforts of Maurice Motamed, the problems facing the employment of such individuals, especially in the education sector, were largely removed.

In 1981, Maurice Motamed married Mitra Golian.

In 2008, as the Seventh Islamic Parliament came to its conclusion, Mohandess Maurice Motamed ended his eight years of fruitful services in that legislative body.

In 2007, he was elected to the Board of Directors of Dr. Rouhollah Sapir Hospital, and consequently, he was unanimously selected as the Chair of the Board.

Currently, Maurice Motamed has broadened his social activities within the Jewish community, and whilst he maintains his earlier appointments, he serves as a high-ranking advisor to the Tehran Jewish Association.

 

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