237. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran1

27532. Subject: Shah’s Washington Visit.

Shah’s August 22–24 visit to Washington was eminently successful in convincing him that U.S. regards him as true friend whose constructive and progressive leadership we greatly admire and whose counsel we highly value. On three public occasions President spoke of Iran’s progress and Shah’s leadership in glowing terms. Public praise was bestowed by others as well. Shah is unquestionably delighted and refreshed by his visit and found his reception here surpassing his greatest [Page 429] expectations. On his side, he made plain his desire to lead his people into twentieth century, to maintain Iran’s independence, and to retain close ties with U.S. In public statements he several times stated his admiration for President Johnson and the inspiration he and Iranian people receive from the President’s devotion to American ideals which Iran shares.
Shah had two long and cordial private talks with President Johnson. He also had hour-long meetings with the Vice President and with Secretary Rusk. He had friendly meeting with Senate Foreign Relations Committee in which Senators were hospitable in every respect and in which he made clear he would obtain arms elsewhere if U.S. unable meet Iran’s needs. His meetings and dinner with American businessmen gave him opportunity describe Iran’s economic progress and goals, and he received warm response, some proposals and considerable adulation from businessmen whose firms already operating in Iran.
Talks with U.S. officials involved no negotiations but were thorough exchanges of views on matters of common concern in the world and on domestic goals, problems and achievements of both countries. Shah raised question of training for jet pilots and received assurance his needs would be met. Joint press release following second meeting with President included statement that two countries will cooperate in studying development of Iranian water resources. In response to suggestion by Secretary Rusk, Shah indicated he would look into establishing fellowships for American students in Iranian universities.
Press coverage of visit included especially thorough reports on arrival and White House dinner. Other aspects highlighted were Shah’s interest in Iran-U.S. military relationship, Shah’s views on Middle East situation and student demonstrations.
Student demonstrations, which resulted in some scuffling with police and a few arrests, involved at different times number of students varying between 10 and 50 and some anti-Shah and anti-CIA placards and leaflets. Demonstrators were kept well away from Shah except on couple of occasions when they managed to throw leaflets at his caravan. Shah and his party took demonstrations in stride and they certainly did not mar success of visit in any way despite tendency of press to give them more attention than they deserved.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 IRAN. Secret. Drafted by Eliot on August 24, cleared in draft by Meyer and by Saunders, and approved by Rockwell. Repeated to London, Ankara, Rawalpindi, and Tel Aviv.