December 31st, 1977
THE SHAH. Mr. President, on behalf of the Shahbanou, myself, and the Iranian people, I welcome you, Mrs. Carter, and your delegation on Iranian soil.
We cherish your arrival as the head of state of a country with which Iran always had unshakable bonds and the best of relations and at the same time as an exalted friend and a most esteemed guest.
We sincerely hope that you will take back with you happy memories of your short visit to our country, and in the meantime we sincerely hope that all the stages of your present trip will be marked by the best of successes.
For the Shahbanou and I, it is great pleasure to be your host only a few weeks after our trip to your country. Your distinguished personality, sincerity, good will, moral virtues, and also the hospitality and kindness of Mrs. Carter have remained close to our hearts.
On behalf of all the people of Iran, welcome to our country.
THE PRESIDENT. Your Imperial Majesties, distinguished officials, and citizens of Iran:
My own Nation has been blessed this year by an official visit of His Imperial Majesty, the Shah, and by the Shahbanou, Empress Farah. This was a fine gesture of friendship. And we also benefited from extensive discussions between the Shah and myself of important issues for Iran and for the United States. I am proud and pleased to be able to come to Iran at the end of this year, my first year in office and, I believe, your 27th year (37th year)1 as a leader of this great nation, and to begin another new year with our close friends and allies.
1 Printed in the White House press release.
In these times of endings and beginnings, I look forward to consulting with the Shah about two of the issues that have most dominated our thoughts in the year just past and will require our best actions in the years ahead.
One is finding solutions to the economic problems of the world's rich and the world's poor. None of these problems is more important than that of energy. Neither producer nor consumer nations can survive and prosper if we recklessly exhaust the world's limited supplies of oil, and neither group of nations can solve the problem without the cooperation of the other. It is because my Nation takes this problem seriously that we are determined soon to have a comprehensive energy plan designed to eliminate waste and to develop alternate sources of energy supplies. We are cooperating closely with Iran, and it is because I respect the leadership of the Shah in this area that I have come to him for consultation and for advice.
The other great issue is bringing peace to the troubled areas of the world and turning back the rising tide of armaments and dissension. The Shah and I share a hope that peace will come soon to the Middle East and that as our military alliance remains unshakable, we may help to reduce the level of tension and armaments throughout the world.
The interests of our nations are built on the interests of individuals. And in all of our discussions, both public and private, we emphasize guaranteeing our citizens the fullest economic and political human rights.
I come with warm, personal feelings for the leaders of Iran, and I bring best New Year greetings from the United States for the people of this great country.
Thank you very much, Your Majesties, for this warm and hospitable welcome.
NOTE: The exchange began at 4:45 p.m. at the Imperial Pavilion at Mehrabad International Airport.
Following the arrival ceremony, the President met with the Shah at Saadabad Palace.