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President Raeisi brings 3,500 Achaemenid tablets from US to Iran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi addresses reporters at Mehrabad Airport, Tehran, Iran, on September 21, 2023 after a trip to New York, the United States, where he attended the 78th session of the UN General Assembly and had meetings with the heads of state and top officials of other countries. (Photo by

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has arrived in Tehran from New York where he took part in the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, bringing back home thousands of historical clay tablets of the Achaemenid Empire.

“Thanks to proper follow-ups by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft Organization, the permanent mission of Iran to the United Nations in New York and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the tablets of the Achaemenid Empire, which were being kept in the United States and the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago (CEAS) for 84 years were repatriated to Iran. The tablets were originally set to stay there for three years for study purposes,” Raeisi told reporters on Thursday evening upon arrival at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport after a trip to New York.

“It is questionable why the tablets were in the possession of Americans. The scientists who worked on the tablets are of Iranian origin, and have been undertaking studies on them for more than 10 years.”

The Iranian president said 3,500 clay tablets have been repatriated, and they will be given to Iranian museums in order to be put on display.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Raeisi said participation in the annual UN General Assembly creates an opportunity for interaction and clarification of the positions of states.

“The two important issues of amplification of Iran's position as well as safeguarding the country’s interests and values were underscored during the event and separate meetings with heads of state,” he said.

“Those who forego values would occasionally serve others’ interests. Protection of values is therefore of paramount significance. Homage to the Holy Qur’an is an important issue as it constitutes our identity. Emphasis on family values is also of significance to us and human societies, and should be paid attention to by anyone.”

“We had twenty meetings and interviews with journalists, scholars and politicians. During the meetings, Iran’s positions were made clear. The main focus of the meetings with the heads of more than 10 countries was to elaborate on Iran's trade and economic relations with other countries as well as regional and extra-regional institutions,” Raeisi said.

The Iranian president also highlighted that Tehran’s preparedness to cooperate and work with various countries and international organizations, particularly as regards political and economic ties, was also emphasized.

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