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President Welcomes Shah of Iran to Washington

Apr. 11, 1962 - The Shah of Iran, Mohammed Riza Pahlevi, and his wife, the Empress Farah, arrived in Washington today and received a warm welcome from President and Mrs. Kennedy. The day was cold and wet and the welcoming ceremonies at the National Airport had to be moved into a hangar. After the traditional 21-gun salute, the playing of the national anthems of Iran and the U.S., and the review of the honor guard, President Kennedy said to his royal guests: “Occupying as you do in Iran a most important strategic area, surrounded as you are by vital and powerful people, your country has been able to maintain its national independence century after century, until we come to the present date where, under great challenges, you lead that historic fight.” At the end of his formal welcome, the President turned to the Shah with a grin and said: “This is one of our wonderful spring days for which we are justly celebrated.” Replying, the Shah said that “today the name of America has a magic meaning for the most distant communities of the world” because “it is associated with freedom, progress, love of humanity, and justice.” At 12:30 p.m. tomorrow, the Shah will address a joint meeting of Congress.

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