President Roosevelt to the Shah of Iran (Reza Shah Pahlavi)20

Your Majesty: I am very happy to avail myself of this opportunity to convey to You in this manner my cordial greetings and an expression of my warm personal regard.

It is with the greatest interest that I have followed the important and far-reaching reforms that have been introduced in Iran under Your Majesty’s inspiration and guidance for the improvement of conditions, both social and economic, among Your people. And only recently I have been pleased to learn that the great Trans-Iranian railway linking the Persian Gulf with the Caspian Sea is nearing completion. The accomplishment of this difficult feat of engineering planned by Your Majesty has aroused admiration in the United States, where we had similar obstacles to overcome when we were constructing our great railroad lines spanning the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

As Your Majesty is doubtless aware, we, also, are faced with problems of a social and economic nature which we are making vigorous efforts to solve through a broad program of reform, which I am happy to say has made steady progress. We are endeavoring at the same time to understand the needs and problems of other peoples as well, and to enlist their cooperation. This we call the policy of the Good Neighbor and it has become the guiding principle in our relations with other countries of the world.

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I recall in this connection the fine leadership or Your Majesty in bringing about the conclusion of the Saadabad Pact in 1937,21 which will, I feel sure, bring lasting benefits to the peoples of the Near and Middle East.

For long years the most cordial and sympathetic relations have existed between our two peoples and the recollection of the confidence reposed in us in past times by the Iranian people is a gratifying one. I am therefore confident that Your Majesty shares with me the desire that our relations shall become steadily closer, not only for the mutual benefit of our two countries, but also in order that we may make a common contribution to the well-being of mankind.

In bidding Your Majesty farewell, I desire to assure you again of my most friendly sentiments and to express my earnest wishes for the welfare and prosperity of the Iranian people.

Your good friend,

Franklin D. Roosevelt
  1. Letter carried to Teheran by Wallace Murray, Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs, and presented to the Shah on October 6.
  2. Treaty of Nonaggression signed at Saadabad Palace, Teheran, July 8, 1937, by Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey; League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cxc, p. 21.