Kourosh Zaim's letter to OPEC:
October 19, 2011
Your Excellency Abdalla Salem El-Badri
General Secretary of the OPEC
A-1010 Vienna, Austria
Subject: Gift of Iranian Representative to OPEC
On the occasion of the OPEC meeting in Tehran on October 19, 2011, the international representative of the Islamic Republic in Iran, Mr. Soltanieh, presented OPEC three gifts of Iranian modern and ancient art. Two of the gifts, Iranian rugs of high craftsmanship and value, and the third a priceless artifact of Iranian ancient history, the gold winged lion goblet dating back some 500 years BC. We would be very proud to have the rugs displayed in OPEC offices; however, not the goblet which is a part of Iranian national heritage.
The golden lionine belongs to the people of Iran, for which the government is only a custodian. According to the Iranian Constitution and relevant international laws no government has the right to sell, exchange or give as a gift an item of national treasure to any one at any time and under any circumstance.
We protest strongly this act of cultural treason committed by Mr. Soltanieh and the Islamic government and ask you to return this national treasure to our treasury immediately. The current government in Iran, which is in no way Iranian at heart, has no regard or respect for our pre-Islamic and ancient historical and cultural heritage. It has been systematically pilfering, destroying, and allowing theft or desecration of historical sites and symbols of Iranian ancient culture.
Your Excellency, the people of Iran request of you to refrain from accepting this Iranian treasure as a gift, thus showing your regard and respect for the Iranian people and international law.
Although, I personally believe that the treasure is safer in the hands of an internationally respected organization than in the hands of our government, your public announcement that the treasure will only be safeguarded by OPEC organization until Iran demands its return, will go a long way in gaining the love and respect of the Iranian people around the world for your person and for the OPEC organization. A separate letter of complaint will also be submitted to UNESCO.
A cultural and political activist
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