Toast of the President at a Dinner Given in His Honor by the Shah of Iran
November 18, 1949

I appreciate most highly the kind remarks which Your Majesty has just made. I sincerely hope that I deserve them, and I sincerely hope that our mutual interests and our friendship will continue in the future, as it has in the past.

I am interested in history. I am interested in the fact that your great country was the fountain of Western civilization. It was the great Persian Empire that gave us the fundamentals of our laws and our constitution today. The fundamentals of the Old Testament laws came through the ancestors of Your Majesty, the Shahinshah of Iran, who is here tonight.

It was my privilege and pleasure to meet him when he arrived at the airport here in Washington, and I was highly impressed with his earnestness and sincerity in the welfare of his people. He has those qualifications which the great masters and rulers of his land before him impressed upon the people of the Middle East.

We were discussing the history of Persia today in the office, on a visit which he paid to me to discuss some of the things in which we are mutually interested. I will say this, that the Shah was somewhat surprised when he found that some of us here in this country were familiar with the great of his own great land, and I am sincerely hoping that he will have a most pleasant visit in these United States, the youngest of the great republics in the world.

And I sincerely hope that we can be of mutual help to each other. I am sure that if there is anything that any of us can do to make his visit pleasant, and to furnish him with information that will be profitable to his great country, all of us will cooperate in giving him that information, and in making his visit as pleasant as it is possible for us--a young and new republic, compared with the greatness of his own great country; and to do something, we hope, that will make that right flank--about which we talked today--as strong as we hope the left flank and the center will be. Thank you very much.

May I offer a toast to His Majesty, the Shahinshah of Iran.

NOTE: The President proposed the toast at a dinner given by the Shah of Iran at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington. The text of the Shah's remarks was not released by the White House.

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