The United States
returned to Iran
a 2,700-year-old silver drinking cup, looted from a cave in Iran and seized by US Customs officials a decade ago, NBC news reported.
The cup is valued at a million dollars at least.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani
confirmed Saturday, upon landing in Tehran, that the cup would be returned to the Islamic republic.
The silver drinking cup
The cup, cast in the shape of a winged griffin, has been stored in a New York
warehouse, since authorities seized it from an art dealer who was arrested trying to sell it. For years, US officials have been saying they couldn't return it to Iran until diplomatic ties with Tehran were normalized.
On Wednesday, even before US President Obama
and Rohani held their phone conversation, the griffin was back in Iranian hands.
"It is considered the premier griffin of antiquity, a gift of the Iranian people to the world, and the United States is pleased to return it to the people of Iran," NBC quoted the US State Department as saying.
"The return of the artifact reflects the strong respect the United States has for cultural heritage property – in this case, cultural heritage property that was likely looted from Iran and is important to the patrimony of the Iranian people," the State Department said. "It also reflects the strong respect the United States has for the Iranian
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