Excerpts from His Imperial Majesties speech
on the occasion of the 15th Anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights, 1953

...The history of Iran has seldom been implicated with racial or other discriminations, and minorities have always lived in this country in complete freedom. 

Let us not forget that the birth of our ancient kingdom really began with the promulgation of a charter which must rightfully be considered a type of declaration of human rights. In this charter, Cyrus the Great, Shahanshah of Iran, after the conquest of Babylon, declared that the period of slavery, subjugation and oppression had terminated. 

In accordance with his decree, prisoners returned to their homeland, temples were reopened, refugees were repatriated, and the ancient custom of homicide, looting, pillaging and maltreatment of the vanquished were supplanted by the victorious armies of Iran, with respect for the rights and beliefs of all peoples.

We are proud that during the course of our long history, not only have we enjoyed the blessings of a humane civilization and culture, but we have also endeavored to promote and spread this tradition to other areas of the world...