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Visit of Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, Shahanshah of Iran Remarks of the President and the Shah at the Welcoming Ceremony.

November 15, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. This morning, our Nation and its people are indeed honored to have visiting us from Iran His Imperial Majesty and Empress Farah, long-time friends of our country, historically bound together. We are very delighted that the Shah could come here with his beautiful wife.

The first American President with whom the Shah met was Franklin Roosevelt, in 1943 at a Tehran conference. He's met with seven Presidents. And this is a great honor for me to have him come this first year that I'm in office, to share with me the historical ties that have bound our nations together and the pledges of friendship and cooperation and mutual purpose, indeed, partnership as we face the coming years.

When the Shah took over the leadership of his nation 36 years ago, Iran was occupied by foreign powers. Since that time, the progress in his country and his growth into a world leader has indeed been remarkable and has aroused the admiration of the world.

This is a time for a searching analysis of the beneficial influence that can be exerted upon the other people of the world in energy, trade, and with us, a partnership and a mutual defense which binds our countries together and which provides us with an opportunity to preserve the peace in the Middle East.

Iran is strong and it is at peace with its neighbors. We now have working relationships between Iran and our country within 50 different universities. There are about 30,000 Iranian students here and about 40,000 Americans in Iran. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to share experiences and to plan together for the future.

Your Imperial Majesty, we welcome you and the Empress Farah to our country.

THE SHAH. Mr. President, Mrs. Carter, thank you very much for your very warm words of welcome in describing the close relations existing between our two countries.

I remember the days when I first met with President Roosevelt in our own capital city, in what, in those days, we thought the future shape of the world would be decided. Obviously, we had hopes that those shapes would be for peace, happiness, and prosperity.

History is not always as one plans it. But this doesn't mean that those of good will should not try again and again. What we hope in our country is to see this new leadership in the United States provide and nurture the hopes that millions of people have for a better future, and the leadership that the United States of America and the President of the United States of America could give and bring towards that great future, because you can do it.

By mentioning the numbers of Iranians living in America, and also the numbers of Americans living in Iran, I think that you touched on a very important issue, the great numbers of people from both sides getting to know each other every day, better and better, and developing personal friendships and friendship between the two nations. This is a very good guarantee that we shall stay, hopefully, always together, because basically we believe in the same principles, in the same ideals.

We attach utmost importance to our relations with the United States and your friendship for us, because since the beginnings of our relations, America has always shown a very unselfish and, many times, very friendly attitude towards us. We have never had the slightest shadow casting over our relations, and I pray God that this will continue always in the future.

Thank you again, Mr. President, for your very warm welcome.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 10:36 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, Shahanshah of Iran Remarks of the President and the Shah at the Welcoming Ceremony. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242786

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