Another blog post on President Richard Nixon’s activities during the Watergate investigation. The first one can be found here.
In June of 1973, Nixon hosted Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev for a second round of talks on arms reductions known as Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT). They traveled around to a number of locations including Camp David and Nixon’s vacation home in San Clemente, California. They also met aboard the U.S.S. Sequoia, the presidential yacht, and the photograph below shows them engaged in a lively conversation on the yacht. Nixon and Brezhnev established a relatively cordial relationship despite the intensity of their negotiations. In fact Nixon presented Brezhnev with a Lincoln Continental at Camp David, which turned into a wild ride for the president as portrayed in this video.
In July of 1973, Nixon hosted the Shah of Iran and his wife, Farah Pahlavi, at the White House. This diplomatic meeting was held to counterbalance the regional power of the Soviet Union in the Middle East. Britain had pulled its military out of the region by the late 1960s, so Nixon and Henry Kissinger, the U.S. Secretary of State, allowed the sale of advanced military weapons to Iran in order to maintain a strategic ally. Iran bordered the Soviet Union, so the assumption was the Soviet Union would not attempt to invade a heavily armed neighbor. Of course, the United States’ reliance on oil from the region also influenced the decision to arm an oil-producing country that was perceived as friendly towards the United States.