December 14th, 1959
Your Majesty, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Your Majesty, before I proceed further, may I express my gratitude for the warmth and generosity of the sentiments you have expressed toward my country and toward me personally. I am truly grateful.
This morning, as I set foot on the soil of Iran, I realize a long-held ambition, to see something of this historic land and a courageous people. I have wanted also to return the visit of Your Majesty to my own country, so that here on this spot we may renew our association and friendship.
In my boyhood, ancient Persia, its kings and their adventures, the nation's marvels of building, its religion, made up a fascinating realm of wonder and romance for a high school student who lived on the Plains of Kansas many thousands of miles away, and half a century ago.
Years later, as a soldier, as a University President, and then President of the United States, Iran became for me one of the most important nations of the world. Three times in the past decade I have had long and searching talks with His Majesty the Shahinshah. He concentrates, in his plans and dreams for Iran, the hopes and aspirations of his people. From him I learned more vividly than from books and papers the present greatness of his country's spirit.
I learned, too, its problems, its strengths, its advances, its vital role in the defense of the free world, and the golden future that is assured Iran and its people in a world of peace with justice.
Now I am here--bringing you from the American people their salute to your courage, their congratulations on their achievements, their best wishes for growth in the years ahead, their pledge of friendship for you and your people.
NOTE: The President was met by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, members of the Iranian Cabinet, leaders of the Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, and U.S. Ambassador Edward T. Wailes.