Bad loan

After snatching Ebadi's Nobel medal, could Cyrus cylinder be next?


Bad loan
by Peyvand Khorsandi

Having won the Nobel peace prize in 2003, Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi is now the first laureate whose medal has been confiscated by a government. The human rights lawyer is currently abroad and will be thinking about the wisdom of returning to her country – the award was plundered from a safe, along with her French Legion d’Honneur medal and a prize from a German press association.

She told the BBC: “They said they would detain me if I returned, or that they would make the environment unsafe for me wherever I am.”

The Guardian wrote:

The Norwegian foreign minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, described the move as "shocking" and said it was "the first time a Nobel peace prize has been confiscated by national authorities".

Ebadi is also being asked to pay back-taxes on the £800,000 she received from Norway, which, she says, cannot be levied on prize money.

The news will worry the British Museum which is about to loan the 2,500-year-old Cyrus Cylinder to Iran as part of an exchange agreement – it borrowed antiquities from Iran for an exhibition earlier this year.

The BM is counting on protection from seizure laws in Iran to prevent the Islamic Republic from confiscating what many Iranians believe to be the world’s first human rights charter.

In her speech to the Nobel committee Ms Ebadi said: “I am an Iranian. A descendent of Cyrus The Great. The very emperor who proclaimed at the pinnacle of power 2500 years ago that... he would not reign over the people if they did not wish it. And [he] promised not to force any person to change his religion and faith and guaranteed freedom for all. The Charter of Cyrus The Great is one of the most important documents that should be studied in the history of human rights.”

Given that her medal is now in the hands of the Islamic Republic, the BM should reconsider its loan of the Cyrus cylinder, on which the 'charter' Ms Ebadi referred to is inscribed – it is due to go on display in Tehran in January.

According to one source, the chances that the Iranian government will decide to keep the cylinder are “very high”. Iran’s clerics have a history of hostility towards Iran’s pre-Islamic heritage – after the revolution, Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali threatened to raze Unesco-recognised world heritage sites with bulldozers.

In 2007 the Islamic Republic ignored a campaign to stop the Sivand dam being built which experts fear will destroy Persepolis. (Khalali did destroy the mausoleum of Reza Shah.)

Britain need only recall standing by as Iran seized 15 Royal Navy personnel in 2007 to know that lending the Cyrus cylinder to Iran is a bad idea – there will be nothing we can do. And it is perfectly conceivable that it will be damaged or destroyed.

In any case, given the recent violence in Iran against peaceful demonstrators, illegal detentions, torture – with reports of physical violations commonplace – the museum is surely duty-bound to deny or at least delay the loan of this priceless antique.

The BM, however, is adamant that the planned loan will go ahead. Given the fate of Shirin Ebadi’s Nobel medal, however, that doesn’t bode well for her hero Cyrus’s cylinder.


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UK should take note on this latest hostage & not send cylinder!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.

Ari Siletz

IRI denial seals Nobel medal fate

by Ari Siletz on

رامین مهمانپرست سخنگوی وزارت خارجه جمهوری اسلامی روز جمعه ۶ آذر خبر توقیف جایزه نوبل شیرین عبادی را تکذیب کرد

This means the IRI will never be able to return the medal without losing face about the false denial. A strong motive to "disappear" the medal.



Some people, especially

by Javadagha on

Some people, especially Eye-ranians are confused.  Who gave this news to the media (hint: the US media)?  How do you know this is true?  Because Yahoo news and few other sources said so?   If you wish to criticize IRI there are plenty of issues to talk about, but please do not use a statement from a person who is ambitious and wants to be Nelson Mandela or Gandhi without having their credentials.  

What will IRI gain by seizing the prize?  Now, what will Mrs. Ebadi gain from saying that they took her award(s)?  Hear both sides talk, then discuss who is telling the truth.   On a similar issue, Mrs. Ebadi mentioned that when she returned to Iran (with her award about six years ago) millions of people came to airport to welcome her (this is her own statement). Okay, let's accept her statement.  I am surprised why these millions of people are not defending her?   Where was Mrs. Ebadi before June 12 election? (hint: not Iran) Duh!!   The countries that broadcasted her statement about the awards missing are those that are spreading other lies (hint: VOA)   Many Eye-ranians lied to remain in the Western countries.  There should be check and balances for freedom of speech. 


I am confused by Sargord! What is his IQ?

by obama on

What is he arguing about? What is so hard to understand?  Is he really Sargord? I don't think so. He has an inferiority complex and that's why he calls himself Sargord PIRUZ! How about Sargord LOSER?

Peyvand, thank you for bringing this to our attention! IRI should never be trusted with our non-Islamic heritage.


RE: Gordzad

by OmidKarimi on

I agree 100%, everytime you critisize them for not taking care of the nation properly (out right raping it..) they point fingers to Israel, US etc.. And even these countries they compare their misdeeds with dont do the attrocious acts against their own people! Thats what bites me the most! They have the nerve to compare a German citizen with Egyptian heritage killed by a racist to an Iranian citizen killed by a MILITIA member...

next stop, Kazakhstan (I retract that, even Kazakstanhas a better reputation regarding law and order now than Iran, maybe North-Korea?)


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Useless discussion

by Gordzad on

In my experience, it is useless to discuss anything with Sargord and people like him. They are talking from a very low level of self-confidence and either lack the intelligence to understand points laid out for them, or simply know the facts but ignore it. I had a similar discussion with a Tudeh Party member a few years ago, after reading some news about the environmental disaster in Siberia due to oil spillage that Soviets won't do anything about. As soon as I criticized the Soviet for ignoring this he started to give examples of how things like this had happen in the US as well. He paused, however, when I told him that I agree with what he says but "weren't Soviets supposed to be better that the US? We expect to see this type of negligence from the US side but not USSR, they are the good guys and should be measured with higher standards".

We could witness the same mentality in Sargord's boss, AhmaGHinejad, who in recent TV interview, when asked about the killing of Neda, he shows the picture of the Egyptian girl killed in Germany by a Russian racist guy. WTF has that killing to do with Neda's? Of course, he doesn't have any answer to the question of Neda's murder, so (in his mind) he finds ways to get out of it. To me it is a sign of weakness. Not to mention that the racist guys has now already been tried and will spend the rest of his life in prison, while Neda's murderer is still free and will probably get promoted.

Don't waist your time arguing with those who are not clever/brave enough to see, or are intentionally keeping their eyes closed.


You are dancing around the point

by OmidKarimi on

My first post clearly shows that I disagree that the IRI have any intention to destroy it, I have no problem watching the IRI host it because I know the IRI knows it would be hell if they moved a single grain of that piece of clay.

I have not commented on IRIs hostility on pre islamic Iran, learn to read, and stop typing bullshit.  

My second post is off topic from the article directed at you and your typical IRGC reply, what has NATO, Zionist Regime, Abu Gharib, Afghanistan, iraq have anything to do with the IRI management of Iran or IRI politcal competence? What Has US/Jamaican/Icelands historical or political trustworthiness ANYTHING what so ever to do with this that seems to be an Iranian-British cultural affair issue between two musems? 

Granted, the US is completely untrustworthy, I give you that point, that still means zero to me because Im Iranian, not American, my country is run by the IRI, and if the IRI is untrustworthy then thats a real problem for me (and you)


Sargord Pirouz

I ask the same questions

by Sargord Pirouz on

OmidKarimi, I asked two logical questions, taken directly from the author's article:

1) If as the author suggests, IRI officials do not appreciate pre-Islamic heritage, why are we to believe they covet and seek to keep the Cyrus cylinder? 

2) The author states that the IRI should not be trusted based on her list of human rights violations. Asking whether the US should not be trusted for the same is a logical and relevant question. 

How is this propaganda? Do you have an answer other than to criticize me for not patently agreeing with the author? 


Sargord, here is were your logic falls blank

by OmidKarimi on

Hating IRI policy does not equal to loving US policy (I hate and demonstrated against every bit of those acts by the US ont he streets). One can hate both at the same time. Why do you insist bringing up US, Iraq, Abu Gharib, Zionist regime, NATO, The West, The great Satan every time we are talking about IRANIAN people, IRANIAN history, IRANIAN culture, IRANIAN human rights, IRANIAN economy, IRANIAN foreign politics, IRANIAN internal politics, IRANIAN social politics?Do you know what the word IRANIAN means? Its not Palestine, Its not Mecca, Its not Islam, its not a tool for your glorious battle against the great satan, not a tool for certain religious priveliged men to earn billions of dollars, it is a COUNTRY wth PEOPLE wanting to live lives in PEACE.

Btw, everytime you bring up such excuses, you are actually shooting your-self in the foot logic wise, in pure logic, you are basically saying that "what the US does is just as bad as what we do, why do you hate on us". Not very clever propaganda Agha Sargord Pirouz.



They wont do anything with it

by OmidKarimi on

It would cause a crap-storm beyond imagination. There is a difference between a brave woman running around creating trouble for a bunch of armed to the teeth fascist's, then a piece of clay. Im not saying the cylinder is not important, Im just saying that the IRI does not feel threatened by it.


Discuss, chat and post your opinions about Iran on my new forum:



these akhoonds....

by shushtari on

should be all put on a boat and have the boat sunk on its way to quds!


these animals hate everything about iran and it's great culture......they should have been exterminated long ago like they did in turkey....

iran belongs to iranians, and not some palestinian-worshiping mullah 


Borrow it for what exactly?

by divaneh on

Why does Iran's National Museum want to borrow the cylinder? They do not believe in the pre-Islamic history of Iran as anything but a shameful part of our past. If anything there has only been enmity towards the eras where Iran was ruled by Iranians. Do they really want to exhibit it to people? In that lawless country I won’t be surprised if it ends up in Christies.


for the same reason

by ahmad_ on

for the same reason they tried to buldoze the Passargad back in the 1980.

for the same reason they paid little attention to hundreds of Iran's historical buildings.

for the same reason that Taliban bombed the banian statues.

for the same reason they are trying to change the school's history text books.

I would not trust them with Cyrus Cylinder for a minute.

Sargord Pirouz

An obvious contradiction

by Sargord Pirouz on

You say the IRI has hostility toward pre-Islamic heritage. So please explain why you fear these same IRI officials would covet and wish to keep the Cyrus Cylinder?

See the contradiction?

And if we're to subscribe to your logic regarding national employment of violence, detention and torture: that must mean we can not trust the United States for the illegal war in Iraq, Guantanimo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib, the extended detention without due process of tens of thousands of ordinary Iraqis, the loss of life of Afghan civilians to drone attacks, etc. etc. etc.