Visit of the Shah of Iran White House Statement Issued Following the First Meeting Between the President and the Shah.
November 15, 1977

President Carter and His Imperial Majesty the Shahanshah of Iran met in the Cabinet Room for 90 minutes. The President was accompanied by Vice President Mondale; Secretary of State Cyrus Vance; Zbigniew Brzezinski, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; Alfred L. Atherton, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs; U.S. Ambassador to Iran William Sullivan; and Gary Sick, National Security Council staff member; and His Majesty, by Foreign Minister, His Excellency A. A. Khalatbary; and Iranian Ambassador to the United States Ardeshir Zahedi.

The President began by expressing his personal pleasure at meeting His Imperial Majesty for the first time, noting that this visit will enable them to establish close personal ties of friendship. The President expressed his appreciation for His Majesty's message of condolence to the families of those who lost their lives in the recent disaster in Georgia.

The President reaffirmed to His Majesty that he fully supports the special relationship which the two countries have developed over the last 30 years and gave his personal commitment to strengthen further our ties. The President emphasized the broad mutuality of our interests in the region and globally, and expressed appreciation for the support which Iran has extended in achieving our shared objectives. The President reiterated the importance that he attaches to a strong, stable, and progressive Iran under the leadership of His Imperial Majesty. To that end, he emphasized that it remains the policy of the United States to cooperate with Iran in its economic and social development programs and in continuing to help meet Iran's security needs.

The President and His Majesty discussed in some detail the current situation in the Middle East. The President reviewed the diplomatic efforts the United States is making to bring about a reconvening of the Middle East Peace Conference in Geneva. The President noted that Iran has a unique position in the area in that it has good ties with all the countries involved and that Iran's economic assistance to several of these countries and its trade with them were valuable contributions to the stability of the area. The President welcomed the support Iran has extended for our diplomatic efforts to achieve peace in the area. They also discussed developments in the Middle East region as a whole, and such matters of mutual interest as developments in Africa and South Asia and our discussions with the Soviet Union on SALT II and the Indian Ocean.

The President expressed his disappointment that it has been necessary to postpone his visit to Iran but reiterated his desire to make the trip as soon as possible. The President emphasized his determination to obtain the comprehensive national energy program, which is currently before Congress. His Majesty expressed his support for the President's effort. They gave special attention to the needs to develop alternative energy sources, including solar, and agreed that both countries would work closely together in this area. They agreed that effective energy conservation programs are essential to help meet future world energy needs as oil supplies dwindle. In this discussion, they exchanged views on how to maintain a healthy world economy. The President emphasized the very great importance to the international community of maintaining world oil price stability, and expressed his strong hope that there would be no oil price increase over the coming year. He expressed his pleasure at His Imperial Majesty's understanding of this issue.

The President also expressed his appreciation for the strong support we have received from Iran on nuclear nonproliferation matters.

     His Majesty stated that he looks forward to receiving the President in the near future in Tehran.

     The President and Mrs. Carter are giving a State dinner for His Majesty and the Shahbanou this evening, and the President will meet again tomorrow morning with His Majesty to continue their discussions.

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