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Iran to Sign Bilateral Extradition Pacts for Artifacts

In a bid to facilitate the handover process of smuggled artifacts and to have a more strict control on sales, Iran plans to hammer extradition agreements with several countries, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported.

The handover process of artifacts illegally transferred to other nations has posed a major legal challenge for the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO).

Thus the organization has consulted Iranian foreign and intelligence ministries and has come up with a plan to beef up its bilateral and multilateral cooperation with other countries in order to accelerate the handover of smuggled relics.

The extradition pacts would be initially signed between Iran and its neighbors and then would be expanded in scope to cover such countries as France, Italy, Germany and Great Britain, said Taha Hashemi, deputy of legal and international affairs in CHTO.

He also called for regular sessions of Iranian Committee for Extraditing Cultural Artifacts, made up of representatives from the interior, financial and foreign ministries and some pertinent organizations.

Iranian cultural heritage officials say hundreds of precious artifacts are stolen and then smuggled out of the country and are put under hammer in large sales houses every year.

... Payvand News - 9/20/04 ... --

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