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Remarks on the Departure of the Shah of Iran

October 23, 1969

Your Imperial Majesty:

As you leave this Capital, after your visit here, I can echo what the Secretary of State just said in reflecting on your visit. He said: "The weather today is like our relations."

And, certainly on this beautiful day as we complete our talks, I believe that the relations between Iran and the United States have never been better. That is due to your leadership. It is due also to the fact that we feel a special relationship not only to your country, but to you, a relationship which, in my case, goes back many years.

We have had bilateral talks which have been most constructive.

But I, too, want to thank you for giving the Secretary, myself, and our colleagues the benefit of your analysis of the problems in the Mideast which are tremendously explosive at the present time and also the problems in the world, because Iran, in a sense, is a bridge between the East and the West, between Asia and Europe, and, for that matter, Africa.

And at that vantage point you are able to see those problems perhaps better than almost any leader in the world.

We thank you for coming to us.

And I can say, in conclusion, that I look forward to visiting Iran again. I have not yet set a date. But you have very cordially invited me to come. I accept the invitation, and we will set a date at a later time.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 11:20 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. See also Items 398 and 401.

His Imperial Majesty Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Shahanshah of Iran, responded as follows:

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

I must say once more how honored I was by your hospitality and friendship that you have shown to me once more, and how deeply appreciative I am of the frankness and the friendliness in which we have had our talks with you, Mr. President, and your associates.

As you very well mentioned, our relations have never been as good as they are now, because they are based on an absolute trust and mutual interests.

We are defending the same principles, upholding the same moral values that we understand and for which we are living and, if necessary, dying; the interest of your country that the world should be a good place to live in, a free place to live in; that everybody should be given the opportunity of progressing, of living better without fear and in health and happiness.

For these ideals that we respect, we wish you an ever growing strength.

We wish you success in all your enterprises and, in addition to this, we hope that you will always feel maybe sometimes it is a burden-but feel the responsibility that you have towards the human race, because you can provide it. When you can provide it, if I could be bold enough to say, you must provide it.

We shall continue on our part to play whatever constructive role that we can in our part of the world, upholding the same principles, trying to be of any assistance and cooperation for the maintenance of peace, stability, and assistance to all those who would ask for it without any second thought and as liberally as possible.

The state of relationships between our two countries, I hope, will continue in this manner for the better of our two countries, of our region, and I hope maybe even for the world.

As you mentioned, Mr. President, my country is a crossroad between various civilizations and various interests. It will be our duty to be able to honor this task faithfully, with dignity and, I hope, also in a constructive way.

We will be more able to do it always when we have the moral support, assistance, of our friends, the greatest of them being this great country of yours, and your personal friendship, Mr. President, which I personally, and I am sure my people value to the greatest possible extent.

Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT. On behalf of all of the American people, we wish you a very happy birthday Sunday.

His IMPERIAL MAJESTY. Thank you very much.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on the Departure of the Shah of Iran Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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