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US court verdict endangers security of world cultural exchange

Tehran, July 4, IRNA-Vice-President and Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Esfandiar Rahim Moshaei said here Tuesday that the recent ruling issued by an American district judge on seizure of Iran's ancient mud tablets dating back to the Achaemenid era would endanger security of world cultural exchange at scientific centers across the globe.

Speaking to IRNA, he said according to an agreement, the mud tablets were sent to the University of Chicago Oriental institute for studying and reading their inscriptions in cuneiform but their recent measure for auctioning the tablets is in contradiction with international laws and regulations.

A US federal court in defiance of international norms recently called for auctioning of part of an invaluable collection of Persian treasure which were sent 73 years ago to University of Chicago's Oriental Institute from Iran and put the cash thus gained at the disposal of Israelis.

The University of Chicago has officially lodged a protest against to the ruling issued by the US federal district court, he said.

Referring to the correspondence between ICHTO and University of Chicago, he said in the complaint lodged against the verdict of the US district court, the University of Chicago has urged that the case should be handled directly without Iran's presence since the tablets and historical relics were put in trust of the University of Chicago.

Since the compliant lodged by the University of Chicago has been rejected by the US district court, the University has appealed to a higher Federal court to this end, he said.

Moshaei described the measure as unjust and politically-motivated.

ICHTO in collaboration with legal department of the Presidential Office is to assign an attorney to pursue the case through legal channels, he said.

All cultural and scientific institutes and organizations around the globe are expected to take stands against the US court ruling, he underlined.

"The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and all Iranians inside and outside the country will not permit the US to seize cultural heritage of the country contrary to international laws and we have declared in writing our stands to International Court of Justice in the Hague, UNESCO, Iran's representative to the United Nations and other authorized organizations," he said.

In case the US district court manages to sell the tablets, the buyers would incur heavy losses since Iran is determined to follow up the case and bring the tablets back to Iran, he said.

These are Iran's national assets which do not belong to the Iranian government and no body in the world can make any decision on such national assets, he concluded.

... Payvand News - 7/4/06 ... --

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