April 11, 1962: On State Visit, Shah Warns of Communism
On an official state visit to the United States, the shah tells Congress that he will not surrender to communism, but that the United States must continue its foreign aid. “I recognize that it is a burden, and I sympathize with the desire to lay down,” he said. “But the need for it is not yet finished. The threat has not ended.” President John F. Kennedy praises the shah: “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, Your Majesty, lead that historic fight.”
Far from a monolithic relationship, Iran and the United States have spent as many decades as friends as they have as enemies. And for most of the history, whatever the polarity, nuclear issues have played a role.